A MAN in his 60s attacked a shopworker with a knife after someone else knocked the hat off his head.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Brian Johnson entered the Lower Grange Convenience Store one evening in June last year.

He appeared to have been drinking – and was swaying and slurring his words.

After approaching the counter and trying to buy lottery tickets, he handed over a £10 note but this did not cover the amount, so he was advised by staff to use a cash machine within the store.

Prosecutor Ayman Khokhar told the court that Johnson, 61, of Lower Grange Close, struggled to withdraw any money, and a member of staff approached in an effort to help him.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The scene of the attackThe scene of the attack (Image: Google Street View)

“At this point an unknown youth entered the store and from behind, removed the hat that the defendant was wearing," said the prosecutor. 

“The unknown youth then ran out of the store. This annoyed the defendant clearly and he told the complainant to retrieve his hat on his behalf.

“The complainant refused to do so and that appears to be the trigger for what occurred next.”

The defendant declared he was carrying a knife and was going to stab the shopkeeper.

He pulled out a black knife from his trouser pocket and lunged towards the victim’s stomach with it.

The victim reacted by grabbing the blade of the knife in a defensive move and the pair fell to the ground where there was a scuffle.

Co-workers intervened and one of them managed to disarm Johnson. The court heard that the victim suffered minor injuries to his hand.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Crown CourtBradford Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

In interview, Johnson denied carrying a knife and spoke of suffering mental health difficulties.

He later pleaded guilty on the day of trial to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and being in possession of a blade in a public place.

In mitigation, the court heard that he had been diagnosed with a classic panic disorder and agoraphobia.

John Bottomley, for Johnson, said the young man creeping into the store and tipping the defendant’s hat off his head would have caused him some distress due to his conditions.

He added Johnson had realised that alcohol was having a negative effect on his mental health.

Recorder Dallas sentenced Johnson to 13 months imprisonment suspended for two years. He must also abide by an overnight curfew for three months, complete 30 rehabilitation activity days and a six-month alcohol treatment programme.

A restraining order was also imposed for five years.