Knife-wielding offender given two-year sentence after threatening people in Leamington town centre
A MAN who produced a lock knife during two separate incidents in the same night has blown the chance he was given to avoid a prison sentence.
Robert Bird, 32, of Augusta Place, Leamington, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of affray and two of possessing a bladed article in a public place.
Sentencing was deferred at a hearing in March to give Bird time to prove himself after the court heard he had been making good progress on a community order.
But at the resumed hearing Bird failed to return to court after the lunch adjournment.
And following his arrest, he was jailed for a total of two years after the judge was told he had not kept out of trouble and was still on drugs.
Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins said that in October last year James Kelly believed Bird was responsible for stealing items, including clothing, from his flat.
The following evening he and a friend saw Bird near the Jug and Jester pub wearing his red hoodie, so Mr Kelly asked for it back. Bird refused and when Mr Kelly began to argue with him Bird took out a lock knife and threatened him with it, using abusive language.
Frightened, Mr Kelly and his friend walked away.
Fifteen minutes later Bird turned up at rear door of the Sicilian Pizza take-away in High Street where he asked the manager to buy a mobile phone which had a broken panel.
The manager wanted nothing to do with it, at which Bird became abusive and, pulling out the knife, told him: “No, you have to buy it”. Bird then threatened to smash up the take-away.
He and a man who he was with then left, but they were both arrested shortly afterwards, and the police found the knife Bird had used in a roller case the other man had with him.
The court heard that Bird had 29 previous court appearances, mainly for theft, but in February was given a community order for a more recent offence of possessing a bladed article.
Martin Groves, defending, said Bird had rid himself of a heroin habit and had remained clean for five years – until he split up with his partner and began taking drugs again.
After the sentence was deferred he managed to get work as a chef, but later walked out, and has since been arrested for two offences of stealing from shops.
Mr Groves said: “His problem is that he has offended again, and his drugs. He says he will use this time in custody to get clean,”
Jailing Bird, Judge Coates told him: “I gave you a chance on the last occasion, and you didn’t take it.
“The guideline for people who carry knives is that they receive substantial sentences of imprisonment.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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