Man jailed for stab threats

A SCARBOROUGH man who threatened to stab his ex-partner’s son with the eight inch carving knife he had in his possession has been jailed.

Paul Cunningham, 43, of Trafalgar Square, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for possession of an offensive weapon and using threatening words or behaviour.

York Crown Court, sitting at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court, heard that Cunningham had committed the offences in the Lord Rosebery pub in Westborough on October 29 last year.

Adam Birkby, prosecuting, said: “It was about 20 past nine and the defendant received a phone call. He told the person he was with it was from a woman he used to be with.

“After the call the defendant said he was going to stab his ex’s son. He said: ‘he’s a druggy and I hate druggies’”.

Cunningham then told his companion he had a “big carving knife” concealed under his clothes. He invited her to feel the knife, which was hidden in the small of his back.

Cunningham’s concerned friend then alerted door staff at the venue, who called the police.

He was arrested, and told police in an interview that he had been carrying the knife for his own protection after he was the victim of an assault.

He added that he had no recollection of threatening her ex-partner’s son, but that he had been drunk.

Mr Birkby added that the defendant had been convicted of violent offences in the past, including manslaughter in 2005.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, pointed out that her client had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.

She added: “He had been viciously attacked a few weeks before while walking down a central street in Scarborough. He was rendered unconscious and was hospitalised.

“He was sufficiently unnerved that he started to carry a knife. He had no intention of using it, but he was comforted by the thought that it was there.

“He did not get it out and start wafting it around.”

Mrs Turner, asking that a community order rather than a custodial sentence be imposed, added that alcohol lay at the root of Cunningham’s problems and that his threats of using the knife had been empty.

“Alcohol combined with the circumstances he finds himself in exacerbates his tendency to lose his temper,” she said.

“The defendant came to Scarborough recently to make a fresh start. He is making every effort to try and settle down.”

Sentencing Cunningham, Recorder Deborah Sherwin said: “It may be that you were carrying the knife with the intention of defence if needs be, but that is not an excuse.

“People are not entitled to carry around fearsome blades in public places.”

Recorder Sherwin sentenced Cunningham to 12 months jail for possessing the weapon, and two months for the public order offence, to run concurrently.

The time he has already served since he was remanded in custody on November 1 will be deducted from the sentence.