Man who drove into Northampton drunk in a bid to threaten his attacker with knife is spared jail

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

A college student from Northampton who drove into town drunk with a knife in the footwell of his car in a bid to find the man who attacked him has been spared jail.

Nicholas Rooney of Kingsley Road, Northampton, was assaulted on a night out in the town centre on March 7.

But Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday how, shortly after police escorted him home, the 25-year-old got into his car with an eight inch bladed kitchen knife and attempted to drive back into town in a bid to find and threaten his attacker.

But police pulled Rooney over on the way, breathalysed him and arrested the Northampton man for driving over the alcohol limit, possessing a bladed article and for possession of cannabis.

Recorder Adrian Jack said the actions were “out of character” for Rooney and sentenced him to 100 hours of unpaid work in the community, as well as disqualifying him from driving for 12 months.

He said: “I accept that you were assaulted over the course of an evening and you were taken home by police.

“However, once you got home, instead of doing the sensible thing you chose to get into your car when you were over the legal limit and take a weapon with you.”

In his defence, James McLernon said Rooney suffered from ADHD and OCD and was a “hard worker,” who attended both a full time job and an accountancy course at college.

He said the defendant never intended to use the knife and was only pulled over by police because he had a cut cheek, rather than because he was driving dangerously.

“He was not going to a place with a real prospect of this actually taking place,” Mr McLernon added.

“He was just driving around aimlessly.”