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FRIDAY: Judge frees stalker MONDAY: He kidnaps victim in 20-hour ordeal.


A VIOLENT stalker stormed his victim's home with an axe and held her hostage - just three days after a judge had set him free.

Michael Elson, 42, had been in custody for threatening to kill the 36-year-old mum of one, but Judge Bernard Lever later gave him conditional bail.

He then ambushed the woman after she had dropped her child at nursery. He threatened her with an axe and an imitation gun, then dragged her into a car by her hair.

He held her for 20 hours until police talked him into releasing her.

Yesterday Elson was jailed for four years by another judge.

He had a long record for robbery and other offences. He was jailed for six years in 1991 for stabbing a woman in a nightclub.

Magistrates in Oldham, Greater Manchester, had remanded him in custody on May 3 for harassing and threatening his latest victim, who can't be named. He was waiting for a date for his trial. But on May 6 Judge Lever gave him bail on condition he did not go near the woman or Oldham town centre, stuck to a curfew and lived at a certain address.

But he went to her house and arrived as security workers were fitting an alarm to protect her.

Philip Cattan, prosecuting, told Minshull Street crown court in Manchester: "He ran towards the property where she tried to hold the door shut.

"He burst in and assaulted her. He had what appeared to be an axe in his right hand.

"When the men fitting the security system confronted him he threatened them with what appeared to be a silver handgun."

They called police but he dragged her to the car and drove off with her legs sticking out.

Elson took her to a derelict house in Longsight, Manchester, where he had duck tape and a Stanley knife. But the landlord disturbed them so he bundled her back into the Audi 80 and drove around for hours.

When police found her, she had a bruised and swollen face and bites on her arms and legs. Elson had told her: "You're going to watch me take my last breath."

Elson, of Levenshulme, Manchester, admitted kidnapping, false imprisonment, perverting the course of justice, wounding with intent and possessing an imitation firearm.

John Potter, defending, said: "He was suffering from some sort of mental instability."

Yesterday Judge Lever said through a spokeswoman: "I have nothing to say at the moment."

Mr Lever locked up sports prankster Karl Power in February 2004 just for laughing in court.

He warned him about larking around with friends - then sent him to Strangeways for the night.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2005
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