Knife wielding man handed a community order

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A Whitby man who left a local teenager “petrified” after threatening him with a knife has been ordered to complete a sentence of unpaid work.

The 15 year-old boy was verbally abused and threatened on August 3, 2012 by local painter and decorater Joe Edgar outside the Middle Earth pub in the town.

Edgar, of Boulby Bank, was said at an earlier hearing to have slapped the teenager 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 having been drinking as well as taking anti-depressant medication on the day of the incident, had originally denied a charge of having an article with a blade or point in public.

A jury at York Crown Court in September, last year, failed to reach a verdict, but before a retrial was due to take place earlier this year Edgar changed his plea to guilty.

Edgar’s plea was entered on the basis that it was a coincidence that he was swapping his work knife from one pocket to the other at the time the teenager and his two friends were present and that the blade was not exposed.

Jamie Adams, mitigating, said that the name of the Whitby pub outside which the incident took place was significant in that what happened was “a piece of Middle Earth behaviour” and “all a bit silly”.

Sentencing Edgar to a 12 month community order with a requirement that he complete 80 hours of unpaid work, Recorder Simon Myerson QC told him that what had happened was “ a piece of enormous stupidity”.

Adding that drinking on top of medication was “idiotic”, the recorder told Edgar that he had drawn back from jailing him because the knife had not been used and that the teenagers had not been sufficiently frightened to immediately withdraw, with abuse being exchanged on both sides.

Edgar was also ordered to pay each of the three teenagers £55 in compensation, but the recorder declined a prosecution application for restraining orders to keep the parties apart.