A MAN was wrestled to the ground when he produced a Swiss Army knife from his pocket during a dispute in a Blackburn pub.

The town's magistrates heard David Cocker was detained by other pub users and then punched by the landlord who grappled with him on the floor before removing the knife.

The court was told Cocker had initially been involved in a dispute with a man called Karl Parkinson who made a victim impact statement.

But Jonathan Taylor, defending, said the incident should be viewed against the background of the victim, who himself had convictions for assault and possession of offensive weapons.

And he said, without wanting to be disparaging about the Moorgate pub, it was the kind of place that was used to the kind of incident described in court.

Cocker, 49, of Moorgate Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and an alcohol treatment requirement.

He was fined £20 with £90 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Paul Sumner, prosecuting, said the incident happened in the Moorgate in November 2019. Mr Parkinson and his partner were having drinks with friends and Cocker appeared to be staring at him.

“Mr Parkinson asked if there was a problem,” said Mr Sumner.

“There was a second altercation in the toilets later on when Cocker said he didn’t like one of the aggrieved’s friends who he said was a paedophile.”

Cocker had been asked to leave by the landlord, Robert Barnard, but as he was leaving he could be seen to be fidgeting with something in his pocket.

“He then produced a Swiss Army knife,” said Mr Sumner.

“Other customers grabbed him and tried to get the knife off him before the landlord punched him twice and grappled with him on the floor before removing the knife.”

Cocker went back to the pub the next day and handed the landlord a note apologising for his behaviour.

In his victim impact statement Mr Parkinson said the incident had left him very shaken.

“If he hadn’t been restrained he would definitely have stabbed me.

"That left me very scared because I have been stabbed before.

“I realised I could have lost my life.

"This had a massive impact on me because my kids would have lost their dad.”

Mr Sumner said as far as the Crown was concerned there was no suggestion Mr Parkinson was involved in any criminality on this occasion.

“He is entitled to the protection of the law whatever his previous record,” said Mr Sumner.