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Group threatened by man with sword

PUBLISHED: 10:47 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:54 05 July 2010

A man carrying a samurai sword in the centre of Lowestoft told a group of people he would "chop them up", a court has heard.

Jonathan Garment, of Dukes Head Street, Lowestoft, was sentenced to eight months in prison when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

A man carrying a samurai sword in the centre of Lowestoft told a group of people he would “chop them up”, a court has heard.

Jonathan Garment, of Dukes Head Street, Lowestoft, was sentenced to eight months in prison when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

The offence happened on June 29 in Station Square when 42-year-old Garment, who was drunk, came across a group of people and told them he would attack them with the samurai sword he was carrying in a bag.

It was the defendant who called the police saying he felt under threat, Ipswich Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

Rosalind Jones, prosecuting, said: “He came across a group of people who he felt threatened by. He said he would 'chop them up'.

“When stopped by police, Mr Garment told officers the knife was an ornament, which he was getting fixed. It was clear to the officers he was drunk.

“When he arrived at the police station another prisoner was making noise by banging on the cell door. The defendant told the prisoner to shut up and said: 'I'll chop you up later.'

“In an interview he gave a detailed account of visiting a friend's house to get the knife fixed. He said that when he left, he felt threatened by two males.

“He said he didn't make any threat to chop them up, but did accept his recollection was not so good due to alcohol.”

Garment pleaded guilty, at an earlier hearing, to having an article with a blade or point.

The court heard he had a string of previous convictions including an incident in 2003 when he threatened a neighbour with a kitchen knife and in 2004 when he held a carving knife to a woman's neck.

Richard Potts, mitigating, said his client was an alcoholic and had been drinking with the friend he had asked to fix the sword.

“He left in the early hours of the morning, carrying the device. Unlike earlier incidents when he used a weapon, in this case he did not use or brandish the sword,” added Mr Potts.

“Perhaps to his credit, he took the step of calling the police to say he felt under threat. One could say he had a grasp of the position he was in. Police officers told him to put the bag down and he did.”

Judge John Devaux said: “You did not need to be out in the streets with this weapon. You would have known you were committing an offence.”

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