Man With Knife Attacked Benedict Cumberbatch's Home

Actor and his family were home and 'absolutely terrified,' source says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 10:10 AM CDT
Man With Knife Attacked Benedict Cumberbatch's Home
Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Sophie Hunter arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, his wife Sophie Hunter, and their three young children were inside their north London home when a man kicked through the iron garden gate, threw a plant at the garden wall, and took a knife to the property's intercom system. "I know you've moved here, I hope it burns down," the 34-year-old suspect shouted before fleeing, the Guardian reports, citing court records. He was identified as Jack Bissell, a former chef at the five-star Beaumont Hotel, based on DNA taken from spit spewed at the intercom, per court documents. It's unclear when exactly the attack occurred. Details of the case were concealed until a successful challenge to the restrictions, per the BBC.

Shortly before the attack, Bissell had told a shopkeeper that he planned to break in to Cumberbatch's house and burn it down, prosecutors said. He reportedly offered no defense for his actions. He pleaded guilty to criminal damage on May 10 and was fined roughly $310. Bissell—described by some outlets as the actor's former chef—was also handed a three-year restraining order that will require him to stay away from the family and the area in which they live. "Naturally all of the family were absolutely terrified and thought this guy was going to get in and hurt them," a source tells the Daily Mail, per the BBC. "Benedict and Sophie have had many sleepless nights since worrying that they may be targeted again." (More Benedict Cumberbatch stories.)

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