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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Man jailed for threatening people with knives on Carlisle streets

A man has been jailed for 18 months after twice being seen threatening people with knives on the streets of Carlisle.

David Sowerby Proud, 23, first waved two knives at a total stranger called Richard Bowles, whom he had mistaken for a man he thought had had a relationship with his wife.

Mr Bowles, who had been on his way to a charity shop, retreated to his car and averted any further trouble.

But, prosecuting counsel Jennifer Blewitt told Carlisle Crown Court, the next day Proud was causing trouble again, this time on Dalston Road.

Two men saw him arguing with his wife, who was backing away from him, apparently “scared out of her wits”, Ms Blewitt said.

When he thought they were about to intervene he pulled out two knives, the court heard. The next day, after talking to Proud’s wife, the police searched his car and found a metal bar, a machete and half a snooker cue in the boot.

They also found worrying text messages on his mobile, in which he seemed to be threatening to “slash” people, Ms Blewitt said.

Proud, who used to live in Brampton but now has no fixed address, pleaded guilty to affray and three charges of carrying knives in public and having an offensive weapon.

Defence advocate Chris Toms said Proud had been using cocaine since he was 12, and on the day of the incidents had also taken valium and alcohol – making “a very dangerous combination indeed”.

He said that even Proud – who was labelled as a “high risk” of harm to the public - was worried by his behaviour.

Jailing Proud for a total of 18 months, Judge Peter Hughes QC said he could have killed someone.

“One only needs to pause and think what could so easily have happened in a confrontation between an innocent bystander and a young man so heavily under the influence of illegal substances,” he said.

“It could so easily have been a lethal cocktail.”

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