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Homeless man carried cleaver through Lincoln after being threatened

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

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A homeless man who was spotted in Lincoln city centre with a meat cleaver has been jailed for nine months.

Kerry Smith, 47, claimed he was carrying the blade for his own protection after being threatened with a gun.

Lincoln Crown Court heard a passing motorist phoned the police after he saw Smith waving the meat cleaver during an argument with another man in St Mary's Street.

The court was told officers rushed to the scene after using CCTV to find Smith.

James McNamara, prosecuting, said: "The officers could see Smith had the meat cleaver behind his back.

"When they drew their taser guns he became compliant."

Mr McNamara told the court officers also searched the man Smith was arguing with but no gun was found in his possession.

During interview Smith insisted he had been the victim of a number of threats which included one with a gun.

Mark Watson, mitigating, said Smith had turned his life around since his arrest.

"He is now in private accommodation after borrowing some money from his mother and is in a relationship expecting his first child," Mr Watson added.

"At the time of this offence he was homeless and a street drinker."

Smith, of Monks Road, Lincoln, admitted possessing a bladed article on June 20, this year.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Heath told him the dangers of having a meat cleaver in a public place were "obvious."

Judge Heath said: "This was after you say threats were issued to you.

"Those threats should have been reported to the police.

"You told the probation officer you got the meat cleaver from a friend for your own protection and to frighten off that person."

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