Man threatened to ‘slice up’ the police

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A man involved in a dispute over borrowed DVDs grabbed two samurai swords and threatened to “slice up” any police officer who stepped through his door.

Police armed with Taser stun guns surrounded Wayne Mitchell’s home in Bold Street, Fleetwood, while officers negotiated with him to hand over the weapons and give himself up, Preston Crown Court was told.

Mitchell, 46, had pleaded guilty to one offence of common assault and another of affray.

Magistrates had committed him to the higher court for sentencing.

The assault was carried out at the victim’s home on Balmoral Terrace, Fleetwood, on November 16.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said the male victim was confronted by the defendant when he answered a knock at his door.

He was forced into the flat, pushed in the chest and this caused him to fall back against an internal door.

The prosecution claimed Mitchell pinned him against a wall, squeezing him by the neck.

Mr McEntee told the court: “The cause of the assault appears to have been a failure by the victim to return a number of DVDs loaned to him by the defendant.

“The defendant was later to explain in interview that there had been the sale of some furniture to him sometime ago and Wayne Mitchell felt he had been cheated in that transaction.”

The court heard the victim recalled waking up on the floor. His girlfriend said Mitchell had punched him in the face.

The DVDs were handed over and Mitchell left.

The stand-off took place when police went to Mitchell’s home the following evening.

Police pressed the buzzer at his flat. The defendant went to the window and told them they would not be going in unless they had a warrant.

It was explained to him they did not need a warrant in the circumstances.

Mr McEntee added: “The defendant made it plain he would resist any attempt by the officers to come into the premises.

“He removed two samurai swords, that had been in display, from their sheaths and threatened to slice up any officer that came through the door, threatening they were ‘all dead’. He made it plain he hated the police.”

The court heard Mitchell’s last conviction was in 2000. He was cautioned for a common assault at the beginning of 2013.

He saw a mental health worker every month and his medication is due for review later this month.

Daniel Harman, defending, said: “This case has all the hallmarks of someone having a mental health episode, rather than somebody being maliciously aggressive towards the police”.

Judge Michael Byrne told Mitchell: “You have a mental history. It may well be that some degree of mental instability or uncertainty flamed your behaviour on those two dates in November.”

The defendant was given eight months prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision.

A forfeiture order was made regarding the swords.