Samurai sword man locked up

James Anderson

James Anderson

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A MAN who was seen waving a samurai sword around in Blackpool town centre has been jailed for his crime.

Preston Crown Court heard how James Anderson’s late night actions took place just eight days after he was put on a suspended sentence by local magistrates.

A passing motorist contacted police after spotting the 25-year old at the junction of Grasmere Road and Central Drive, brandishing the 27-inch weapon shortly after midnight.

Anderson, of Coop Street, Blackpool, was appearing for sentencing having pleaded guilty to an offence of having an offensive weapon.

Craig Cleminson, prosecuting, said a constable on mobile patrol was told about the defendant’s behaviour by a member of the public just after midnight on August 9.

The officer went on to see Anderson holding the sword in his left hand and the sheath in his right hand.

Mr Cleminson added: “He was waving the sword about, but this didn’t seem to be directed at anyone in particular.

“The defendant was asked to hand it over and he did so without any complaint.

“He was intoxicated, couldn’t stand still and was slurring his words.”

In police interview, Anderson accepted he had been drunk at the time.

He spoke of having taken the sword from his girlfriend’s address as she no longer wanted it there.

He accepted having removed it from its sheath and waved it around in the street.

James Paterson, defending, said the offensive weapon incident was not the most serious of its type.

Anderson now knew what custody was like, having had his first taste of it while on remand.

The barrister added “There were no pedestrians around at the time of the offence. It was someone in a passing car who reported it to the police.

Threat

“It is quite clear the defendant wasn’t using the sword to threaten or intimidate anyone. When the police did arrive they asked him to surrender the sword and he gave it up without hesitation.

“There was no threat of violence”.

Judge Stuart Baker accepted no harm was done to anyone and nobody was injured.

But he added: “Being in possession of such a potentially dangerous article and particularly when you are drunk, undoubtedly creates a danger, in my view.”

Anderson was jailed for 22 weeks – his sentence including 12 weeks for breaching his earlier sentence.