Pensioner took knives to scare female students

Royal Avenue
Royal Avenue

A pensioner with no previous criminal record appeared in court after “losing his rag” and arming himself with kitchen knives to terrorize three female students.

John McCormick, 65, of Royal Avenue, appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing, having previously admitted charges of using threatening behaviour and having a bladed article in public.

After a day out drinking in Filey, McCormick returned home on April 18, this year, and, believing that the student resident of the flat opposite, together with her friends, had been responsible in the past for noise, decided to take action.

He was seen by the flat’s occupants sharpening a kitchen knife on an outside wall, before disappearing inside and reappearing with a larger knife.

Armed with this weapon he crossed the road and began banging on the student’s flat bay window and waving the knife.

During a police interview McCormick admitted going to remonstrate about the previous noise, but added that, because of the drink, he could not recall having the knife.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, told the court it was very unusual to find a 65-year-old man with no previous criminal experience appearing at court in relation to this type of offending.

Adding that McCormick, a single man with a hard working past, lived a rather isolated life and had been suffering from health problems.

She said McCormick was “very contrite and humiliated” by what he had done, adding that he had been the subject of taunting in the area where he lived for some time because of his bald head and small stature.

Passing sentence, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that normally people who armed themselves with a knife in public could expect prison, but in this case he recognised McCormick and the public would be better served by a non-custodial sentence.

McCormick, who promised nothing like this would ever happen again, was placed under a 12 month community order with a requirement of 80 hours of unpaid work.