- By Steven McIntosh
- Entertainment reporter
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s home in London was attacked and damaged by a former chef wielding a fish knife.
Cumberbatch, his wife and their three children were at home when Jack Bissell, 35, kicked through the front garden’s iron gate.
He shouted: “I know you’ve moved here, I hope it burns down,” a court was told earlier this month.
Bissell pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Wood Green Crown Court on 10 May and was fined £250.
He was also given a three-year restraining order preventing him going near Cumberbatch’s family and the area they live in.
Details of the case were prevented from being reported until blanket restrictions were successfully challenged by the Daily Mail this week.
Bissell, who previously worked as a chef at a Mayfair hotel until 2020, pulled up a plant and threw it at the garden wall before spitting at the intercom and tearing it loose using a fish knife, the court was told.
He fled the scene but was arrested after his DNA was found on the intercom, according to reports.
A source close to Cumberbatch told the Daily Mail: “Naturally all of the family were absolutely terrified and thought this guy was going to get in and hurt them.
“Luckily it never went that far. Benedict and Sophie have had many sleepless nights since worrying that they may be targeted again.”
The prosecution told the court that prior to his attack, Bissell bought two packs of pitta bread from a nearby shop and told the shopkeeper he was going to break in and burn down the house.
It is not clear why Bissell targeted Cumberbatch and he offered no defence in court.
He has a previous conviction for theft, three warnings for offences against property, a public order offence and a drug offence. In 2015, he was photographed being arrested during protests against military intervention in Syria in central London.
Cumberbatch is best known for the lead role in the BBC’s Sherlock, and for films such as Doctor Strange, The Imitation Game and The Power of the Dog.