Knife attack:man changes plea

Middle Earth Tavern''w130918b
Middle Earth Tavern''w130918b
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A Whitby man who left a local teenager “petrified” after threatening him with knife has changed his plea to guilty on the day he was to stand a retrial.

The boy, 15 at the time of the alleged incident on the evening of August 3, 2012, told York Crown Court at the original trial last September he been verbally abused by 46-year-old painter and decorator Joe Edgar outside The Middle Earth pub in the town.

He said Edgar, of Boulby Bank, slapped him on the back, called him “gay, fat and obese” and claimed to have had a sexual relationship with his mother.

When challenged about why he was shouting the abuse, Edgar was said to have claimed: “Because I am the man with a Stanley knife”, producing such a tool from his pocket, pushing out the blade and thrusting it forward towards the ground.

Edgar, who admits to having been drinking on the day of the alleged incident, had denied a charge of having an article with a blade or point in public.

However, a jury hearing the evidence at the original hearing was unable to reach a decision on and the case was set for a re-trial starting on Monday.

However, Edgar changed his plea to guilty and the hearing was adjourned until April 8 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Edgar was said on Monday to be pleading guilty on the basis which he had originally told the police on his arrest - that it was a coincidence that he was swapping his work knife from one pocket to the other at the time the teenagers were present.

The hearing was told the prosecution were proposing to apply for a restraining order to keep Edgar away from the youth.

Edgar was bailed until the April hearing.