Man’s meat cleaver court charge

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A MAN who became fed up with a gang of youths damaging and stealing items from his garden went after them with a meat cleaver, a court heard.

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court was told that James Peter Knowles, 51, had found it “extremely difficult” to enjoy gardening any more after years of problems at his Eastmoor home.

When police failed to turn up quickly to reports of youths stealing fence panels on Friday, April 13, Knowles told them “it will be me getting in trouble if I catch them”.

When officers arrived at his home on Harewood Road they found Knowles in the street with the five-inch blade in his back pocket.

He pleaded guilty to possessing the knife in public when at court on Tuesday and was ordered to pay £210 in fines.

Emma Radley, mitigating, said Knowles could not remember picking up the cleaver due to medication and added that he was “extremely upset”.

She said: “He loves where he lives and is loathe to have to move out due to a gang of youths.

“He doesn’t believe he would have intended to hurt someone. And he would have not been able to catch up with the youths.”