'I told you I would stab you': Schoolgirl turns around to find 18-year-old holding her at knifepoint in Northampton town centre
An 18-year-old boy has been spared jail after he pointed a knife at a Northampton schoolgirl after warning her to "stay out of town".
Bradley Coulson, from Northampton, texted the girl's sister in the days before the "terrifying" incident to warn her if he saw her in Northampton town centre then "she's going to get stabbed".
Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (April 26) how when he did see the girl by herself on the market square, he crept up behind her and pointed a kitchen knife directly at her.
He reportedly told the girl: "I told you I was going to stab you."
The court heard the girl was "petrified" but was able to calmly walk over to a fairground which had been set up in the Market Square, so she would not be alone with the armed teenager.
Coulson was arrested shortly after the incident in October 2018. He later denied making any threats.
However, in court, some of the threatening texts Coulson sent the girl's sister were read out to the judge.
They read: "I know you're her sister, ain't you? Tell her she's going to get stabbed.
"Tell her to keep out of town."
The schoolgirl took the stand in court to tell the judge how she had suffered with severe anxiety since the encounter.
She said: "I stopped going to lessons. I locked myself in my room for five days at one point because I didn't want to speak to anyone.
"I did not want to go to school as I was scared he [Coulson] would follow me and hurt me.
"He texted my friend and said he was going to kill her.
"I don't know why anyone would make me feel like that."
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking commended the girl for her courage in coming to court before turning to sentence Coulson.
But on balance, the judge decided to give Coulson a second chance at rehabilitation after hearing there was a "robust" programme of reform work waiting for him with the probation service if he was spared jail.
She told the 18-year-old: "You are not a mature 18-year-old in anyone's view.
"You stood there with a knife in your hand and pointed it directly at her.
"But I feel it would be better for the public if a way was found to rehabilitate you back into lawful behaviour.
"Let me make this clear. If you commit any further offences in the next two years you will be back before me and there is only one place you will go, and that is prison."
Coulson was handed a two-year detention order suspended for two years and was ordered to complete rehab work. He will also have an electronic curfew of 6pm until his sentence is complete and was handed a restraining order keeping him from contacting his victim in any way for five years.