POLICE who attended a report of a disturbance on a Blackburn street saw one man carrying a pick-axe handle and another a metal wrench.

Both were arrested but while one was dealt with by way of a caution the other was given a six months suspended prison sentence.

Brian Hargreaves, 35, of Glenluce Crescent, Blackburn, pleaded guilty at the town’s magistrates to possessing an offensive weapon, a wooden handle, in a public place. He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said police came across the tail end of an incident just before midnight on December 21. They could hear raised voices and there were people in the street.

“They saw Hargreaves with a large wooden handle and another male carrying a large wrench,” said Mr Robinson.

When he was interviewed by police Hargreaves said he had been at home with his wife and 14-year-old son when there was a disturbance outside. His wife looked out and a man threw a can of beer over her.

He picked up the wooden handle, which he said was from a hammer and not a pick-axe, and went after the man. He ran off and Hargreaves was still holding the handle when police arrived.

Gareth Price, defending, said his client had not been in trouble for 14 years. He said as well as his wife being subjected to some abuse the defendant’s son had gone outside to see what was going on.

“He was concerned for him and as he left the house picked up the handle from the garden,” said Mr Price. “He hoped the mere presence of this item would be enough to scare off the individual and that is what happened.”

Mr Price said the individual with the wrench was the defendant’s brother-in-law.

“He was given a caution although it is not clear why the police differentiated between them,” said Mr Price.