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Man confronted Accrington clubbers with a knife
9:01am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A YOUNG businessman who leapt over a takeaway counter to snatch a 12-inch knife so he could confront a gang of clubbers has been jailed for 20 months.
Giovanni Piras later told police he had consumed around 25 bottles of beer and was ‘drunker than he had ever been’, after the incident in Accrington town centre, Burnley Crown Court heard.
But the court was told Piras, of Hollin Bank Court, Blackburn, had no fewer than three convictions for brandishing knives, including once during a domestic row with his mother. Prosecutor Andrew Petterson said Piras had been in the Voodoo Lounge in Accrington, around 2.30am on May 15 when he began pestering people for cigarettes.
An eyewitness, who had left the club to buy cigarettes for the 26-year-old, then saw Piras become involved in an argument with a group of men in the street.
Moments later Piras ran to a nearby branch of Dixy Chicken, vaulted over the counter and picked up a 12-inch knife.
He jumped back over the counter and charged towards the men he had been arguing with.
The court heard that he lunged at members of the group with the weapon but the men ran off in different directions. He then lunged at a man who attempted to disarm him before running off.
Police were alerted and Piras was arrested a short time later. He insisted to officers that he had seen someone stealing from a girl’s handbag — but when he confronted a man he had been set upon by his friends.
Jailing Piras after he admitted burglary and threatening behaviour with a bladed article, Recorder Kevin Talbot said such offending could not be tolerated by the courts or the community.
Fiona Wise, defending, said Piras, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, maintained that he had been trying to highlight a suspected theft, at the time.
The defendant had not been in trouble for nearly two years and had been supported in setting up his own business by his grandmother, the court heard.