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Knife man jailed after threatening to slash takeaway worker's face

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ANYONE arming themselves with a blade to commit a crime can expect to be automatically sent to prison, the Island’s Magistrate has warned as she jailed a man who threatened takeaway staff with a knife.

Colin McLaughlin Picture: STATES OF JERSEY POLICE (24951551)

Magistrate Bridget Shaw this week sentenced Colin McLaughlin (54) to nine months in jail after he admitted threatening and ‘terrifying’ a worker at the Kingfisher restaurant on Route de St Aubin, saying that he would cut their face.

The court heard that he had gone to the premises armed with a Stanley knife after his wife had returned home in a distressed state after making a complaint about the restaurant.

In sentencing, Mrs Shaw said: ‘This sentence should bring it home to you and anyone in the Island that if you take a knife to arm yourself with, you can expect to go straight to prison.’

Earlier in the hearing, Centenier David Curtis, prosecuting, explained that the police had received a 999 call to attend the Kingfisher on 14 April, with staff saying a man was in the restaurant shouting about poor food and service.

Staff also told the police a Stanley knife had been produced by the man, who they said was acting in a violent and angry manner.

One witness, who left the shop soon after, reported that the man said: ‘I will remember your face, I will cut you.’

During a police interview, McLaughlin, of Route de St Aubin, admitted he had gone to the takeaway after his partner had returned distressed after making a complaint, saying she had been chased out of the shop.

McLaughlin, who the court was told had drunk six cans of lager during the afternoon, picked up a Stanley knife and went to the restaurant.

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He acknowledged that he had stood outside the shop window with the knife and made a gesture for people to come outside.

Advocate James Bell, defending, said: ‘Mr McLaughlin realises his behaviour at the takeaway was unacceptable and he wishes to sincerely apologise to all those concerned.’

He added that his client was co-operative with police and entered guilty pleas at the first opportunity.

He also said that McLaughlin had suffered an accident around Christmas time that had caused him to start drinking, but since the incident at Kingfisher he has been ‘on a detox’.

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At a previous hearing McLaughlin admitted conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, possession of an offensive weapon and two motoring matters.

In sentencing, Mrs Shaw added: ‘This is a very serious offence that has passed the custody threshold.

‘I do not accept that you armed yourself for self-defence. You made a credible threat to a member of staff who must have been frightened and terrified.’

The defendant was also fined £100 for not having an up-to-date driving licence and £70 for an outstanding parking fine.

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