Gainsborough man armed himself in late night '˜disturbance' on estate

A Gainsborough man involved in a large late night disturbance armed himself with a set of hedge loppers, a court was told.
Lincoln Crown Court G120131-3Lincoln Crown Court G120131-3
Lincoln Crown Court G120131-3

Police were called to Hemswell Cliff just before midnight on February 12 following reports of trouble.

Mark Knowles , prosecuting, said: “Officers attended a large disturbance on the estate. Numerous people had phoned the police up to report the incident. When officers arrived Walter Smith was seen to throw a long implement onto the grass.

“He was detained. The implement was found to be a wooden shaft with a 30cm blade on it.

“The defendant said he was out in the street with friends and neighbours to see what was going on. He denied having a weapon.”

In court, Smith,aged 31, of Sturgate Walk, Gainsborough, denied possession of an offensive weapon but was found guilty following a trial in front of magistrates and committed to the crown court for sentence.

Mr Knowles said that three months later was seen driving despite the fact that he had no licence or insurance.

He was stopped by officers and failed a roadside test. He was taken to a police station where he was given a breath test which produced a reading of 65 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath making him almost twice the legal linit of 35 mgs.

Arising from that incident on May 11, Smith admitted driving with excess alcohol and driving without insurance and without a licence.

He also admitted threatening behaviour and criminal damage as a result of a further incident on February 6 when a police car was damaged at Hemswell Cliff.

David Eager, in mitigation, said the weapon involved in the February 12 incident was a set of antique tree loppers.

Mr Eager said: “It is quite apparent that he threw the implement away when he realised the police officer had seen it. There is no evidence that the weapon was held or used in dangerous circumstances.”

He said that Smith had a drink problem which he has since been working to address. Mr Eager said “He has sought help. He no longer binge drinks.”

Smith, who had three previous convictions for drink driving, was jailed for 18 months and banned from driving for five years.

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