Man with samurai sword following row with friend given suspended sentence

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A man, who equipped himself with a samurai sword following a row with a friend, has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Richard Campbell was found by police near a car park with the 2ft weapon tucked into his left trouser pocket hidden underneath his jacket, West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 35,year-old, of Queens Road, Bury St Edmunds, who appeared in court for sentencing, had earlier drunk five pints of cider and four shots.

He admitted possessing the samurai sword in Parkway on December 21 at a previous hearing.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, said police were alerted after Campbell was seen on CCTV outside the LP bar with what appeared to be a knife.

He was found by an officer using his mobile phone at the entrance to the multi storey car park.

With the help of another officer, he was restrained and the samurai sword discovered. In interview, Campbell said he had been in the Wetherspoon pub, got into an argument with a friend and ‘things got a bit heated’.

He said he drunk five pints of Strongbow and four shots but had nothing to eat all day.

Mrs Cappleman said: “He went home, picked up a samurai sword and stood outside the LP bar.”

The sword was one of three Campbell owned and he handed the other two in the following day of his arrest.

Nick Wray, in mitigation, said Campbell phoned a friend for advice, who told him ‘not to be stupid and go home’.

“By the time the officers arrived he was going home.

“He hasn’t been in a public house or licensed premises since.”

When sentencing, district judge Celia Dawson said: “You have come within a whisker of being sent upto crown court to be sentenced. This is an extremely serious offence. You were drunk, deliberately went back and got that weapon and you were out there in a public place with an incredibly dangerous weapon.”

Campbell received five months imprisonment suspended for one year with 100 hours unpaid work.

He was also prohibited from entering any pubs and clubs in Bury for the next 12 months and ordered to pay £85 in costs and £80 to the victim’s fund.

The sword will be forfeited and destroyed.