A MUSEUM volunteer
has told of the moment he fought with a deranged attacker armed with a samurai sword and a Nazi SS dagger.
Phil Trayhorn was opening the Brixham Battery Museum when he was confronted by delusional
Michael Lange, also known as Mitchell, who said he was an ex-army officer behind enemy lines.
Over the next 40 minutes Mr Trayhorn, who was chairman of the museum, and steward David Clarke were held hostage by Lange who told them he knew Adolf Hitler
and was on a mission to
The stand-off ended when Mr Trayhorn made a break through the steel shutters and fled into a nearby holiday park, sparking a major police hunt for Lange who was later found in woods.
Two years after the incident Lange, 52, of Hill Head, Brixham, has been given a community order at Plymouth Crown Court.
The judge said the incident was 'highly bizarre and extremely concerning', but Lange posed
little danger to the public.
Mr Trayhorn told police he arrived at the museum as usual on July 16, 2010. He saw the bloodied and shocked Mr Clarke, who said he had been attacked.
Lange then came behind him and closed the shutters saying 'I've
been waiting for you'.
"He said he had come for the Japanese sword and SS dagger which were in the display case," Mr Trayhorn said.
"He said 'let me explain — I am working undercover for the government and I need the dagger and sword to
complete my mission'.
"He then asked me if I was a Christian and I said 'Yes, of course'.
"He said that had I said no he would have killed me."
Mr Trayhorn tried to persuade him to let them both leave, but Lange refused.
was bouncing on his toes with his fists clenched saying he was on a mission from God.
Mr Trayhorn boiled the kettle to make tea and threw the water at Lange in a bid to escape.
"Unfortunately the man hardly blinked," he said.
"He looked at me and I then used my shoulder to try to knock him to the floor. He did not flinch."
There followed a bizarre confrontation with the men picking up different pieces of wartime memorabilia from around the museum.
Mr Trayhorn used
a MGFF airplane machine gun cannon and hit Lange with it but again he didn't move.
The pair then fought with Mr Trayhorn throwing a shotgun and tommy gun at Lange.
Lange had smashed the display case and armed himself with the unsheathed samurai
sword which he pointed at Mr Trayhorn's throat and chest, but he was shocked by the level of resistance from the 62-year-old museum volunteer.
When he turned his back for a moment his two captives lifted the shutters and fled.
Mr Trayhorn said: "Dave delayed the man's exit using the broom handle as a defensive weapon against the man's sword thus allowing
me to make my escape."
Lange admitted two charges of false imprisonment, robbery of the sword and dagger and having the weapons in the woods.
The court was told he visited the museum three days before the incident and shown an interest in the
It was said in mitigation that he was a cancer patient who went berserk because his operation had been cancelled.
Judge Cottle told the defendant: "The bottom line is you subjected these two victims to a terrifying ordeal over a period
of three quarters of an hour to an hour.
He added how Lange was suffering from extreme stress during the time.
"Your risk to the public is low," he said.
After the sentence, Mr Trayhorn said: "I feel a little bit disappointed with the
sentence and thought he might have got a suspended sentence at least considering what other people get sent to jail for.
"Dave has had no apology, the museum has had no apology and certainly I haven't had one. The damage he caused cost us a fortune,
well over £2,000.