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Paramedics found man armed with knife and meat cleaver outside flat

Paramedics were called to the flat by Neale Wood  Picture: ARCHANT

Paramedics were called to the flat by Neale Wood Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A paramedic told police she feared for her safety when an emergency caller emerged from a flat carrying a kitchen knife and a meat cleaver.

Neale Wood's behaviour became unpredictable after ambulance staff arrived below his first-floor housing association property in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, at about 12.30pm on August 11.

Following a discussion, the 60-year-old agreed to voluntarily attend hospital, but as paramedics contacted the mental health crisis team, Wood produced a meat cleaver and began hacking at wooden railings on the balcony above.

He then returned to the flat and emerged with kitchen knife, which he used to make superficial cuts to his arm, before dropping the knife over the balcony railings.

Wood admitted two counts of possessing a bladed article in a public place at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on December 3.

He returned to the same court on Monday to be sentenced to a two-year community order, with a requirement to complete up to 60 days of rehabilitation activity, and a prohibition order banning him from consuming alcohol in a public place.

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Prosecutor Lesla Small said Wood's behaviour had continued to deteriorate and had put one of the paramedics in fear of her safety.

Wood was arrested at the scene and told police he had called the ambulance service during a panic attack after being unable to obtain medicine prescribed for bipolar disorder the previous week.

Ms Small said: "He said he did it to escalate the situation sufficiently to acquire a police presence.

"He appreciated his actions caused fear but said he had no intention of causing anyone harm.

"He said his actions were a cry for help, and that he urgently needed to control his bipolar and panic attacks."

Michael Whatley, mitigating, asked magistrates to accept the recommendations of a pre-sentence report by the probation service and requested a psychiatric examination if the bench was minded to impose custody.

Magistrates agreed to adopt recommendations in the report, including a community order with rehabilitation days, and also imposed a £120 fine.

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