Benedict Cumberbatch and his family have reportedly endured “many sleepless nights” after a chef attacked their home, kicking his way through an iron gate and screaming.
Cumberbatch, his wife, Sophie Hunter, and their three young children were all home when chef Jack Bissell began his attack, The Times reports. Once on the premises of their London home, the chef spat on the home’s intercom before dislodging it with a fish knife. The date of the attack has not been made public.
“I know you’ve moved here,” Bissell, previously a chef at the five-star Beaumont Hotel in London’s Mayfair, reportedly yelled. “I hope it burns down.” Although the chef fled the scene, DNA evidence from the intercom allowed police to make the arrest, The Times reports.
Bissell had set up his own catering business after leaving the Beaumont Hotel in 2021, but the company failed and was dissolved late last year, according to official records.
Another business venture—this time in the music biz—also failed after about 18 months. He set up the record label with sound engineer Sam Farr, who told The Daily Beast: “I haven’t seen him in years but I can say, I never saw the guy with a temper—ever.”
Prosecutors in the Wood Green Crown Court case said that before the incident took place, Bissell also stopped to buy two packs of pita bread, The Times reports. At that point, the paper recounts, Bissell told the shopkeeper that he planned to burn down the movie star’s residence.
“Naturally all of the family were absolutely terrified and thought this guy was going to get in and hurt them,” a source told the Daily Mail of the attack. “Luckily it never went that far. Benedict and Sophie have had many sleepless nights since worrying that they may be targeted again.”
Bissell pleaded guilty to criminal damage on May 10 and has received both a restraining order and a $310 fine. The Times and the Daily Mail report that he has a prior conviction for theft, three warnings for offenses against property, and one drug offense.
He was also arrested for a public order offense during a protest against military intervention in Syria in 2015. Six years later, he posted an image of himself being dragged away by police officers wearing only his underwear, with the caption: “Bad choice of underwear and very handsy police. One for the mantelpiece.”