One of the perennial problems around here is the number of robberies taking place on the canal tow-paths, specifically, in this case, the tow-path on the Shropshire union at Pendeford.
The defendant was charged with possession of a bladed article. The first decision that the Bench takes is whether to accept jurisdiction for the case, depending upon whether the probable sentence would be within the 6 months custody range available at the Summary Court.
To help them make a decision the prosecutor outlines the case.
My colleagues were then treated to a mobile phone video of the incident. It became clear that a group of four youths were showing an interest in the defendant who was apparently alone on the tow-path and appeared drunk. I assume the person recording the video was concealed close by because, by all accounts, the video quality was of sufficient quality for the Police to identify the individuals.
Unfortunately, the actions of the defendant are going to earn him a substantial prison sentence.
As the youths faced him and demanded his phone and money, one of them produced a knife. It was clearly a kitchen knife of the type used for paring and had a blade some 4" in length. A fairly scary secenario.
At this point the defendant is heard to utter some immortal lines from a movie:-
"Call that a knife? That's not a knife."
He says, in ersatz Australian / Black Country accent. At which point he draws, from heaven knows where upon his person, a heavy jungle machete which appears to be somewhat more than 24" in length saying:-
"THIS is a knife."
He then lunges at the robber who had the kitchen knife, slashing the machete in wide horizontal strokes.
For some reason the robbers' spirit is broken and they are seen to turn and run away.
The defendant is joined by the video maker and another person, presumably a friend, all three laughing hysterically, at which point the video recording finished.
The Bench declined jurisdiction, as they were compelled to by the sentencing guidelines, and sent the defendant to Crown Court.
I'm back in Court tomorrow, and I'm going to see if the video is still in the CPS office I'm dying to see it