A knife-wielding chef tried to break into the London home of actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who was inside with his family at the time.
Five-star chef Jack Bissell kicked through the front garden’s iron gate and screamed abuse toward the actor’s home he shares with wife Sophie Hunter and their three young children, according to The Times newspaper in London.
The date of the attack wasn’t disclosed in court, but Bissell pleaded guilty to criminal damage on May 10. He was fined £250, or about $310, and given a three-year restraining order to stay away from the Cumberbatch family.
According to court records, Bissell yelled “I know you’ve moved here, I hope it burns down” after gaining access to the property.
The defendant also pulled up a plant and threw it at the garden wall, and then spat on the intercom and tore it loose using a fish knife. Bissell left the area before police could arrive, but DNA taken from the intercom was used to track down the chef and arrest him.
Court records show that Bissell told a shopkeeper just before the attack that he was going to break in and burn down the house. No motive has been given for the chef’s violent outburst.
“Naturally all of the family were absolutely terrified and thought this guy was going to get in and hurt them,” a family friend told the Daily Mail. “Luckily it never went that far. Benedict and Sophie have had many sleepless nights since worrying that they may be targeted again. The fact that it was a targeted intrusion makes it a lot more scary.”
Bissell had two stints as the chef de partie at the five-star Beaumont Hotel between 2017 and 2020.
He went on to set up a catering business in 2021 after leaving the hotel, but the venture failed and was dissolved late last year, according to the Daily Beast.