Man jailed for wielding baseball bat with knife screwed into the end
- Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY
A man who caused panic by swinging around a baseball bat with a knife attached to the end has been jailed for 16 months.
David Armstead admitted affray and possessing an offensive weapon in public at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.
The 36-year-old wielded the adapted weapon at another man outside his flat in the early hours of Saturday, January 18.
The incident unfolded at about 2.30am on the balcony of the Queensbury House flats behind the Weavers Tap pub, in East Street, Sudbury.
John Farmer, prosecuting, said pub staff witnessed Armstead engaged in a “slanging match” and exchanging verbal abuse with an inebriated man.
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“They were then sudden aware of a formidable weapon – a baseball bat with a knife screwed into it – which was used to swing many times towards the other man,” added Mr Farmer.
“Such was the violence of the occasion, that the people present felt a sense of personal fear – not knowing if the incident would spill over.”
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The court heard Armstead had 22 previous convictions for 44 offences, including possession of an offensive weapon in May 2002.
Phoebe Bragg, mitigating, said Armstead accepted possession of the weapon and that he “went too far”, but added: “It’s important to remember that this other male came onto Mr Armstead’s property.
“He was clearly drunk, clearly being provocative, and heard Mr Armstead tell him to get away.
“He accepts it wasn’t appropriate to produce the weapon as he did.
“He says he shut the door to get away, but when he went to shut the fire door, the other male continued to provoke him.
“Upon arrest, Mr Armstead was described by officers as agitated but not aggressive.”
Judge Martyn Levett told Armstead: “You had this very dangerous adapted weapon, which you were swinging around.
“Onlookers felt for their own safety. They didn’t know what would happen next.”
Armstead, who has been on remand at Norwich prison since his arrest in February, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment for the weapon of offence – to run concurrently with an eight-month sentence for affray.
Armstead denied a third charge of using threatening behaviour to cause fear of violence, which prosecutors allowed to lie on file.