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Knife threat clubber jailed

PUBLISHED: 14:19 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:20 03 July 2010

A 26-YEAR-OLD Great Yarmouth man was jailed for six months for possessing a knife.

Darren Smith, of Roman Place, off Nelson Road Central, admitted carrying a knife after he was thrown out of a Yarmouth nightclub.

A 26-YEAR-OLD Great Yarmouth man was jailed for six months for possessing a knife.

Darren Smith, of Roman Place, off Nelson Road Central, admitted carrying a knife after he was thrown out of a Yarmouth nightclub.

Yarmouth magistrates heard Smith had been drinking at Gas Mark 9 on May 25 and at around 12.30am was thrown out by a doorman.

Prosecuting Alan Wheetman told the court how Smith walked the short distance home and half-an-hour later returned to the club, confronting the doormen holding a six-inch knife in his left hand.

Mr Wheetman explained how the doormen restrained Smith, dragging him to the ground, before removing the knife from his hand. It was at that point police arrived and arrested him.

“During interview he (Smith) admitted possession,” Mr Wheetman told the court. “He said he was involved in a confrontation. He went home and retrieved the knife. He wanted to show the door staff he was better than them and was not going to take it.”

Smith told police he “was not thinking straight” because he was drunk and had “no intention” of using the knife.

Mr Wheetman added that Smith had told police he had an alcohol problem and admitted the situation could have easily got out of hand. He told police it was a “silly mistake.”

Mitigating, Claire Bennett said Smith was seeking help for his alcohol problem and had been accepted on a demanding maths course at the University of East Anglia.

She said: “He admits the recollection of the incident is fairly limited. He said his intention was not to use the knife, only to scare. He is deeply shameful and remorseful of his actions. He has treated this incident as a wake-up call, he was drinking too much. There is no suggestion he has an alcohol problem but he is a binge drinker. He wants to put a stop to that and he could have a bright future.”

The court heard that Smith regularly attends a social night at a Southtown church.

Advising magistrates of the penalties, the court clerk said when deciding a sentence they should consider the level of public concern of people carrying knives.

“This crime is being committed by far too many people, far too often. This crime must be confronted and stopped.”

Smith was sentenced to six months imprisonment. The knife was destroyed by police.

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