'It's no excuse': Man arrested in Northampton town centre after brandishing knife to 'fend off robbers'

A 26-year-old man claims he only brandished the black lock knife he had in his pocket in Northampton town centre to fend off two robbers who tried to take his money.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 6:47 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 6:53 pm
James Friel was spotted on CCTV brandishing a black lock knife. He claims he only used it to fend off two robbers.

Jamie Friel, from Northampton, was spotted on CCTV in Northampton waving the blade near Gold Street before he was arrested while heading to the taxi rank.

Northampton Crown Court heard on Friday (April 26) he told police he only pulled out the knife because two men tried to rob him.

He reportedly told police he had a large amount of cash in his pocket from "selling a bike earlier that day".

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The court heard when two men allegedly tried to rob him in town, he pulled out the knife in his pocket and said: "I've got this, please don't take my money."

When police asked him why he had a knife, he told them he "forgot" he was carrying it when he went into town.

But Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking told the 26-year-old: "That's no excuse.

"People who walk around Northampton with knives go to prison. That's because they are dangerous and they kill people.

"I'm completely at a loss why a man who is 26 with a supportive family considers it necessary to carry such a particularly vicious lock knife.

"Frankly, I'm sceptical of that explanation."

However, the court heard since his arrest Friel had been engaging with charity services to deal with an ongoing drug addiction and confessed to carrying the weapon at the first opportunity.

As a result, Judge Lucking decided to hand Friel a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 12 months. He will also complete 25 rehabilitation days, work 11 unpaid hours and pay £200 in costs.