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Man threatened to ‘slash’ youths with bayonet in Skipton
An 18-year-old threatened a group of youths in Skipton with a rifle bayonet, a court heard.
Jonathan Armstrong took the seven-inch blade out of his waistband and threatened to “slash” the youths outside Tesco supermarket, Skipton magistrates heard on Friday.
Armed police found Armstrong almost two hours later on a foot- path between the supermarket and the railway station, the court was told.
Armstrong, who admitted possessing an offensive weapon and provoking unlawful violence on August 13, had been in Skipton to visit his girlfriend.
He was carrying the bayonet, left to him by his late grandfather, in a holdall and had brought it out after being provoked by a group of youths, the court was told.
Prosecutor Caroline Midgley said Armstrong told police that he had been intending to camp in a farmer’s field and had brought the bayonet with the intention of cutting wood to make a fire.
He and his girlfriend had been with others in Aireville Park where they had been drinking before going to Tesco where they had been shouted at by another group.
“For reasons he cannot explain, he took the knife out of his bag and put it in his waistband in case things kicked off,” said Mrs Midgley.
“He then held the knife and told the group he would slash them,” said Mrs Midgley.
The court heard in mitigation that Armstrong felt there had been some provocation, although he realised he should not have brandished the weapon.
He had no intention of using the weapon and had only intended it as a way of frightening the others off.
Armstrong, who the court heard was homeless because of difficulties with his stepfather, came from Harrogate and had spent eight months in the forces before leaving to pursue a career as a tree surgeon.
He was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work with £85 costs.
A forfeiture and destruction order was made on the knife.