Publican escapes bayonet lunge

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A NELSON publican had a lucky escape when his partner lunged at him with a First World War bayonet during an early hours fall-out, a court was told.

Bruce Manville got away unscathed when the weapon hit a door during the trouble in living quarters above the Prince of Wales in Leeds Road last September 19th. A lodger at the premises was awoken by the victim screaming for help and found Jeffrey Chadwick swinging the bayonet around and shouting towards Mr Manville: “I’m going to kill you,” Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told police arrived to discover Chadwick had left the pub and gone out into the street with the weapon. Officers caught up with him a short time later on Scotland Road and he was arrested.

The defendant (27), said to be vulnerable and to possibly have autism, has now been in custody four weeks. He won his release after a judge gave him a 12-month community order with supervision. Chadwick admitted affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said it appeared the defendant and victim had had an altercation after closing time.

Just before 5 a.m., the couple began to argue and the defendant left the bedroom, went into the function room, came back and hurled a television into the bedroom where Mr Manville was still standing. Chadwick then returned to the function room, armed himself with the bayonet and went into the bedroom, brandishing it.

Miss Statham said Mr Manville would say the weapon was about two feet in length and the defendant was holding it above his head. Chadwick then lunged towards him, Mr Manville went to shut the door on the defendant and the bayonet struck the door.

When police later found Chadwick on Scotland Road and got near to him, they heard something fall to the ground. He stopped on request and was arrested. He claimed he had the weapon for self defence. The defendant had no previous convictions.

The prosecutor added: “Mr Manville believes that the defendant has autism and requires some assistance, not punishment.”

Mr Hugh Barton, for Chadwick, described him as a “vulnerable young man.” He had a background of depression and self harm. The barrister added: “This is an individual who does not read normal reactions, in a way which might be consistent with some form of autism.”

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said the bayonet, if used, could cause extremely serious, if not fatal, injury. Fortunately, it hit the door and not Mr Manville.

He told Chadwick: “It doesn’t take me to tell you, I am sure, that could so easily have gone wrong and you could have been facing a much more serious charge and a long sentence.

“It seems to me that not only you, but Mr Manville, if he continues to see you, and also the rest of society will be best served by a proper, thorough intervention by the probation service.