Actor Benedict Cumberbatch and his family were targeted in a knife attack at their home in London, U.K. The attacker was the Cumberbatch family’s former private chef, 35-year-old Jack Bissell. The chef allegedly kicked through an iron gate at the Wood Green Crown Court residence, shouting “I know you’ve moved here, I hope it burns down.”
The chef initially fled the crime scene, but authorities caught him after finding his DNA on the house’s intercom. He allegedly pulled up a plant and threw it at the garden wall, issuing his threat through the intercom before tearing it loose with a fish knife. According to the BBC, just prior to the attack, Bissell purchased pitta bread at a local shop and told the cashier that he intended to burn down Cumberbatch’s home.
Bissell plead guilty to criminal charges for the incident on May 10, and was issued a £250 fine accompanied by a three-year restraining order preventing him from getting near the family. The Daily Mail was first to challenge blanket reporting restrictions on the incident, breaking the story to the public.
The chef was previously arrested in 2015 for publicly protesting in his underwear in central London.
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Prior to his work for the Cumberbatch family, the chef worked at the Mayfair Hotel and the Beaumont in London. He has several prior charges. including theft, public disorderly conduct, property disruption, and a drug offense.
Social Media Reactions
The bizarre nature of the attack shocked the internet and Cumberbatch’s fans. From the weapon choice to Bissell’s past with the family, the strange attack seems almost out of a “Knives Out” film. Cumberbatch famously portrayed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, and currently stars as Dr. Strange in the Marvel cinematic universe. Some fans jokingly credited these characters of his with keeping his family safe.
Bro called the police instead of the avengers ????
— ѕнα∂ყ™ ???? (@9illeh) May 30, 2023
I'm sure there's a Sherlock Holmes reference here somewhere
— James Stephan (@J_Habs) May 30, 2023
Cumberbatch is yet to directly comment on the incident. Himself, his wife Sophie Hunter, and their three sons, Kit, seven, Hal, six, and Finn, four, were all home at the time of the attempted break in.