Knifeman jailed for street melee

Have your say

A DOUBLE knifeman who brought terror to the doors of a Brierfield pub on New Year’s Eve has been locked up for more than two and a half years.

Enraged and drunken Brian Butler, said to have had a drug addiction to the tune of almost £17,000 a year, had swaggered down the road, armed with a large weapon in each hand and was “raring to go.” He chased people around the streets, repeatedly slashed out and had “not cared two hoots who saw him”. Revellers outside the Feathers pub should have been enjoying an evening of celebrations, but instead they were scared witless in the trouble, captured on CCTV, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Butler, who believed his mother had been attacked, had been pulled away, but went back for more. The defendant was on bail at the time after beating up his former girlfriend and leaving her with nasty injuries, and was subject of a suspended prison term. He was arrested and made no comment. Butler was to claim he committed the offences because he had nothing to do.

Butler (21), of Chapelhouse Road, Nelson, had admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, affray and two counts of having a blade. He was jailed for a total two years and 238 days.

Sentencing the defendant, said to “repeatedly and indiscriminately offend against society,” Judge Heather Lloyd said of the witnesses to the melee: “One can only imagine what they thought was likely to happen.”

The judge, who said his behaviour had been feral on both occasions, told Butler he had done very little with past chances given him by the courts. She said “very many people” were put at risk by his conduct and added: “It’s a mercy that nobody was seriously injured.”

Mr Mark Lamberty (prosecuting) said last September, Butler returned to his ex-partner’s home, angry and agitated and demanded to know where his baby daughter was. He was told she was asleep, picked her up and woke her and was told to put the infant down.

The defendant then grabbed hold of victim Stacey Rivers and threw her hard against a wardrobe. She tried to calm him down, but he pinned her down on the bed and bit her hard on her neck. He then took hold of her shoulders and threatened to throw her down the stairs. Finally, he kicked her repeatedly. Police were called, Butler was seen nine days later and exonerated himself. He was bailed.

Mr Lamberty said Butler had a record which included breaching court orders and was given a 56-day suspended sentence by magistrates in July.

Mr Tim Storrie, for Butler, said he was expecting custody and expecting the worst. His devotion to his mother was unquestioned even though she had been unable to protect him from being brutalised by his violent father.

By the age of 13, he was living the life an adult should live, his upbringing was largely feral, he was introduced to drugs and was spending £300 a week on cocaine, ecstasy and later mephedrone.

Butler was a father, but was ill equipped for the role. The barrister continued: “He acknowledges what he has done and he offers no excuses. His behaviour on New Year’s Eve was prompted by his loyalty to his mother. He says these things happened because he had nothing to do.

Mr Storrie said Butler wanted a normal, humdrum existence.The barrister went on :”He is a man without guile. He quibbles not one bit that he will be sentenced and that it will have to reflect the true extent of his offending.”