A MAN blamed the return to drinking following the suicide of a friend for a series of unrelated offences.

Blackburn magistrates heard Wayne Lord assaulted a total stranger, damaged a car being driven by a woman, kicked the wing mirror off another car, coincidentally owned by the man he had assaulted, and was seen running down the street brandishing a knife.

Lord, 26, of Allendale Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to assaulting Eric Slade and being drunk and disorderly on March 15, causing £1,000 worth of damage to a Nissan Juke belonging to Ann Scott and £500 worth of damage to a car belonging to Mr Slade on May 8 and possessing a knife in Allendale Street on June 6.

He was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on July 16 after District Judge Joanne Hirst ruled her powers of punishment were insufficient.

She said the recent two year gap in his offending showed Lord had got his life back on track.

"However, you were seen to be wielding a knife while you were intoxicated and that is high risk behaviour," she added.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said Mr Slade was out walking his dog with his wife when he saw a drunken male running in front of cars on Gannow Lane.

Lord approached the couple took his jacket off and punched Mr Slade.

"The victim was horrified that this could happen so close to his home when all he was doing was taking his dog for a walk," said Mr Bardsley.

When he was interviewed Lord said he had been drinking all day and didn't know the man he had punched.

Mrs Scott said she was driving when a bicycle in front of her kept weaving from side to side. When she stopped at traffic lights Lord kicked her wing mirror.

Less than an hour after that he was caught on CCTV lying on his back and apparently having a row with someone. He got up and kicked the wing mirror of a car which by pure coincidence belonged to Mr Slade.

On Saturday police received a call to say a man had been seen running down Allendale Street brandishing a knife.

"When police approached his house he came staggering out with a can of beer in his hand," said Mr Bardsley.

"He was tasered and handcuffed and officers subsequently discovered the knife in bushes outside his house."

Mark Williams, defending, said his client had been in and out of trouble and in and out of prison from a young age.

"He got a job for the first time in his life and everything was going well until he was laid off at the start of the coronavirus pandemic," said Mr Williams.

"He then got the news of the suicide of a friend and that has sent him back to drinking to excess and behaving in a totally unacceptable way."