A mentally unwell man who “doesn’t recognise the law” sent emails to the police saying he would “make Raoul Moat look like a clown”, before being caught with an extendable baton in his car.

Police hating Nicholas Taylor, 43, had been handed a community order in 2021, Preston Crown Court heard, after making threats to kill police officers and making reference to Raoul Moat.

Moat, who had a grudge against police, murdered his ex-partner and shot two other people - including a police officer - during a two-day shooting spree in 2010, which sparked a week-long manhunt in the North East and ended when Moat shot himself after a six-hour stand-off with armed police.

Moat had threatened to kill any police officer who tried to stop him on the rampage.

The court was told Taylor had been in touch with the police in relation to appealing that conviction and during the course of correspondence, sent an email trail which caused some distress and concern for a police staff member.

Prosecuting, Andrew Scott said: “He had a vendetta against the police.

“He said during the email trail that he ‘lost his mind’ due to being labelled a criminal by the police and would therefore resort to criminal activity, including criminal damage and drink driving, knowing the police would come knocking, stating that ‘revenge was a dish best served cold’.

“He went on to write, ‘if I am stopped, I have told my probation officer that I cannot be held accountable for my actions due to mental instability, and I will make Raoul Moat look like a clown’.

“This caused distress for the police staff and in a statement the officer said he found the emails ‘disturbing’.

“While waiting to be sentenced for that, on May 3 this year Taylor was stopped by police for a document issue relating to his vehicle.

“The defendant refused to provide any personal details about himself saying he ‘didn’t recognise the law or the police’.

“He was eventually identified but refused to get out of the car and became erratic.”

Mr Scott said the officer then noticed Taylor was fiddling with something which he thought was a knife but then he produced an extendable baton.

He went on: “The defendant stated he had this in his possession to defend himself against the police, who were part of a gang.

“The officer explained being in possession of such a weapon was a criminal offence and he was arrested.”

Taylor, of Wiltshire Drive, Haslingden, has three convictions for five offences, and his defence barrister urged the judge to subject him to a community order, saying he could be managed by probation in the community.

Judge Robert Altham said: “The trail of emails sent to the police were aggressive and menacing but then became threatening.

“Clearly, the reference to Raoul Moat was intended to cause distress.

“On the face of it, it’s not a promising submission that there should be a community order made in this case, but what does appear to be clear is that this is a defendant that has plainly struggled with issues of mental health which are intertwined with difficulties relating to alcohol and those have had an impact on this defendant.

“Essentially these offences arise out of the mental health problems that he has and in this case I am satisfied that a community order is right.”

Taylor was handed a two year community order and told to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days.