PROFESSIONAL poker player Howard Plant thought his luck had run out when he was confronted by an axe-wielding scrap metal dealer.
Mr Plant – who plays cards at venues around the world and whose nickname is The Magician – had refused to do a deal with 44-year-old father-of-nine Martin Cawley over an old fridge.
Cawley had turned up in his van at one of the car parks run by Mr Plant in Blackpool.
Cawley of Hawes Side Lane, Blackpool, was told by Mr Plant to drive off . Mr Plant then took a photograph of the scrap merchant’s number plate fearing trouble might follow.
This angered Cawley who told Mr Plant: “What are you doing. . .I will do you in.”
Blackpool Magistrates Court heard how Cawley returned to his vehicle and then came back with an axe with a five inch blade.
He waved the blade up and down and told the card player: “I am going to smack your head in.”
Paul Foster, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Plant clearly feared for his safety and as Cawley finally drove off he rang the police.”
During his police interview Cawley said he had reacted when Mr Plant had called him a derogatory name.
Imran Majid, defending, said his client was angry because a racist term had been used against him.
Mr Majid said: “He also wanted to know why Mr Plant had taken a picture of his vehicle.
“My client has nine children and works seven days a week to support his family.”
Cawley had been found guilty at a previous trial when magistrates asked for reports on Cawley.
After reading the reports the magistrates sentenced him to 12 weeks jail, suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and 12 months supervision.