Man is jailed for six months for wielding knife at Crown Pools in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 15:33 07 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:19 07 May 2017
A man who pointed a kitchen knife at a member of staff at Crown Pools in Ipswich has been jailed for six months.
Michael Smith, 52, of Inverness Road, Ipswich, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court today charged with possession of a knife in a public place, using threatening abusive or insulting behaviour with intent to cause fear, four theft offences and a breach of a conditional discharge.
Smith pleaded guilty to all charges.
Prosecuting, Lesla Small said Smith had entered the swimming pool on Crown Street with another man at around 6.30am on Thursday March 23.
Staff member Sam Barber had approached the pair in the changing rooms to ask them if they were members of the pool or had paid the fee to enter.
Since Smith did not have a membership card and refused to pay he was asked to leave.
The two men then walked into the pool area so Mr Barber asked reception to call police.
When the men returned to the changing rooms Mr Barber heard the sound of a ‘metal object dropping to the floor’ coming from Smith’s cubicle.
Ms Small said: “At this point Mr Barber hears the object drop and sees it is a knife.
“It is a stainless steel kitchen knife.
“He doesn’t make any attempt to hide it and points it at Mr Barber.
“He is looking straight at him while pointing the knife.”
Police arrived at the scene at 7am and arrested Smith.
In mitigation, John Hughes said Smith lives on the streets and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder following his experiences serving in the army in former Yugoslavia where he saw some ‘very unpleasant sights’.
“Mr Smith uses alcohol as medication,” he said.
“He has had difficulty settling since leaving the army.”
He said Smith had been working the night before in the kitchen of a kebab shop in town and had got the knife from there.
Magistrates jailed Smith for three months each for possession of the knife and for threatening behaviour to run consecutively.
Smith was also charged with three thefts of alcohol and food from Co-op in Sidegate Lane and for stealing a wind-up radio from Maplins. He was sentenced to 14 days for each theft to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Barber.
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