COURT: Terrified drinkers forced to shelter from knifeman in Potton pub
Drinkers in a Potton pub were forced to take shelter when a knifeman walked in brandishing an eight-inch blade, a court has heard.
Jamie Peck had already been thrown out of The Coach House for being drunk and a nuisance late in the evening, but he later returned to the pub brandishing the weapon.
At Luton Crown Court on Friday, 39-year-old Peck – of Old Gate Close in Potton – pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.
Simon Wilshere, prosecuting, told the court it was late in the evening of Christmas Eve last year when Peck turned up at the bar of the 18th century pub.
It soon became clear to staff that Peck was being a nuisance and so he was told to leave at the end of the evening.
Outside in Market Place, customers who had been drinking in the bar were preparing to make their way home.
But suddenly Peck reappeared, brandishing a knife with an eight-inch blade.
Mr Wilshere said that staff got the customers back inside, but that one man decided Peck wasn’t posing a threat to him and carried on waiting outside for his wife who was on her way to pick him up in her car.
Peck suddenly rounded on the man, yelling at him: “You grey-headed bastard, I am going to kill you.”
The prosecutor said Peck then chased him four times around a parked car before he managed to get back inside the bar and warn his wife not to stop in the square.
Judge Lynn Tayton QC was told Peck made off before being arrested later on Christmas Day.
Even then, Peck was still making threatening remarks to officers about what he was going to when he was released.
The court was told Peck had been committing crimes for the past 20 years.
Andrew Corcut, defending, said his client had little recollection of the events of that night.
He said over the years Peck had had issues with alcohol and drugs, but was now taking steps to tackle his problems and had a steady job.
Mr Corcut said Peck was sorry for frightening the man he had chased round the car park that night, as well as the staff and customers who were in the pub.
Passing sentence, the judge told Peck: “I want to protect the citizens of Potton from you going out and producing a knife.”
He was given an 18-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years and told he would have to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.
Peck was told that for the next two years he is banned from The Coach House, as well as every other pub and licenced premises in the town.