Felixstowe: Man brandished knife after being taunted

A MAN with learning difficulties brandished a 12-inch kitchen knife in the street after being taunted by a group of youths as he walked home, a court has heard.

Reuben Abbott was called names by the youngsters as he walked along the street and they had then followed him to his front door and had thrown stones at his windows, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Abbott came out of his flat with a knife and the police were called after a passing motorist saw him brandishing the weapon in the street, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Abbott, 39, of Stour Avenue, Felixstowe, admitted being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and was sentenced to 12 months’ supervision by a probation officer.

Judge David Goodin said Abbott had been subjected to “considerable unkindness, abuse and provocation”.

“It directly made you do what you did and without it I’m sure you wouldn’t have done it,” said the judge.

However he warned Abbott that the courts viewed the possession of knives in public very seriously and said that people who brandished knives in public were usually sent to prison.

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Matthew Sorel-Cameron, for Abbott, said his client suffered learning difficulties after being born prematurely.

He said Abbott’s adult life had been difficult and he had felt lonely and depressed.

Since living in Stour Avenue he had been subjected to abuse but despite complaining about it nothing had been done.

On the day in question he had been drinking and had gone outside with the knife after being subjected to further taunts and having stones thrown at his windows.

Mr Sorel-Cameron said that following the incident police had obtained statements from some of the youths who had taunted Abbott and they had apologised for their behaviour.