A 63-year-old man who lost his job after using a Samurai sword to frighten a work colleague has had his eight-month prison sentence suspended by a judge.
The day before the offence, Alfred Wilkinson had been involved in an altercation at W B White Foundry Ltd and Recorder Jonathan Sandiford was told that he turned up at the premises on Arthur Street, Brighouse, the next morning with the sheathed sword in the boot of his car.
Prosecutor Mehran Nassiri told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that Wilkinson’s colleague had approached him with the intention of apologising for the earlier altercation, but the agitated defendant said they needed to sort the matter out.
Mr Nassiri said Wilkinson went with his colleague to the car and then took the sheathed sword from the boot.
“The defendant held the sword in both hands five or six inches from his colleague’s chin and exposed about four or five inches of blade,’’ said Mr Nassiri.
“The defendant then put the sword back in the car.’’ The worker made a complaint about being threatened and Wilkinson was sent home.
The incident was reported to the police and during his interview Wilkinson said he had taken the sword to work with the intention of scaring his colleague.
Wilkinson, a married man who lives at Lockwood Road, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing before the magistrates court to possessing the offensive weapon in a public place.
Barrister Richard Gioserano, for Wilkinson, said, not surprisingly, he had been summarily dismissed by the company after the incident last October.
“He admitted taking the sword to work to try and settle a dispute with a colleague,’’ conceded Mr Gioserano.
“He admits he took it out to try and frighten this man. He can’t believe himself that he’s tried to sort it out in this way.’’ Recorder Sandiford said the danger of such behaviour was that when somebody introduced a knife or sword the situation could escalate. “That’s why the court has to treat very seriously the fact that you took this Samurai sword to work and got it out to make threats with it,’’ he told Wilkinson.
The judge decided that he could suspend the prison sentence for 18 months but Wilkinson will also have to do 60 hours unpaid work for the community. He also ordered that the Samurai sword should be forfeited and destroyed.