A WORKINGTON man who scratched a parked car as he staggered drunkenly towards an Asda supermarket was carrying a knuckleduster and a flick-knife.

When police found 26-year-old Judd Walker, who had no memory of what happened, he was at a self-service checkout area in the Dunmail Park store, where he swore at the officers as they arrested him. 

Walker, of Senhouse Street, Workington, admitted four offences: causing criminal damage to the car, having a bladed article, having an offensive weapon – the knuckle-duster - and illegally  possessing diazepam.

At Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Daniel Bramhall outlined the facts.

He said the first indication of any trouble came at around 8.40pm on October 5 last year as a supermarket worker who was sitting in his car, ready to start an evening shift.

He heard a metallic scraping sound.  As this was happening, he saw a man - the defendant -  “staggering” as he walked past. 

“He assumed that the defendant had simply bumped into his car,” said the barrister. But when the man got out of his car, he noticed a metre long scratch along his car’s paintwork.

When he went into the supermarket, staff there told him they had seen the defendant drop a knife and then pick it up.

The police arrived a short time later and found Walker standing near the self-service checkout area where they approached and arrested him. “He was aggressive and swearing at the officers,” said Mr Bramhall. 

“They put him in handcuffs, but he attempted to pull his hands away.”

When he was told to stop resisting, his response was to swear and shout.  The knuckle-duster was found when he was searched and also the knife and the tablets.

When he was interviewed by the police the following day, he said he had not planned to do anything with the knife and that he had bought the diazepam online. The defendant had no previous offences on his record.

Marion Weir, defending, said there was a “lengthy and complex” history that led up to the defendant’s offending behaviour last October.

“This is a set of offending for which he has no memory,” said the barrister, explaining that Walker had “hit the self-destruct button.”

What happened was part of a 10 day period which was lost to Walker.

A background report, said Miss Weir, detailed a catalogue of substance misuse from an early age, interspersed with periods of abstinence, including the last five months.

The background included the death of two people with whom Walker had shared residential rehab with and Walker being admitted to hospital for psychiatric treatment in Newcastle after his release from police custody.

That began what was hoped to be the “long road to recovery.” Immediate custody would destabilise that recovery, said Miss Weir.

Judge Nicholas Barker accepted that Walker has “significant psychiatric problems.”

The knife possession offence would normally attract a jail term, in this case one of six months but, said the judge, the public interest would bet better served by continued rehabilitation.

He imposed a two-year community order with 15 rehabilitation days and 120 hours of unpaid work. Walker must pay £200 compensation to the owner of the scratched car.