Knife man from Lancaster who was Pava sprayed at St Annes bar is spared an immediate jail term after becoming a 'reformed character'

Crown Court
Crown Court
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A man who threatened doorstaff with a knife has been given a suspended sentence after a judge was told he had cleaned up his act and wanted to do a degree in criminology.

Maxwell Dennehy, 30, of Littledale, near Brookhouse, Lancaster, ended up being Pava sprayed by an officer who was concerned when he attended the scene at the 15s bar in St Annes Square, St Annes, last March.

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The court heard the same officer came across Dennehy earlier that evening after responding to a report of two men fighting, but Dennehy and his partner denied anything had happened - despite Dennehy bleeding and having two missing teeth.

Approximately an hour later he was informed of a man threatening others with a knife and realised it was the same man.

The officer asked him to stand still as he was concerned over the knife.

He pulled out his Pava to "deescalate" the situation, but as Dennehy continued to approach he deployed it and kicked the defendant in the chest before arresting him

Defending, John Woodward said: “Mr Dennehy is very remorseful for what happened. He has frankly grown up.

"He has recognised 18 months ago that he had a problem with drink and drugs and he went on a voluntary basis into a residential rehabilitation unit in Lancaster.”

"He is aspiring to do a degree in criminology and sociology with a view to helping people with drug problems.

Imposing 12 months, suspended for two years, Judge Nicholas Barker said: " For much of your adult life you have been committing offences

"You've had continued problems with substance abuse, and I don't suppose any of the offences on your record were committed when you were anything other than drunk and intoxicated.

"The officer had to use Pava spray to protect himself.

"You should look upon this as a final chance."