Council workers threatened by knifeman

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SHOCKED council workers fled when a man emerged from his North Derbyshire flat with a knife, magistrates heard.

Two men were tidying a corridor at flats in Northside, New Tupton, Chesterfield, in February when ‘all of a sudden’ the door to Rikki Haslam’s flat opened.

One of the workers told police: “I looked up and saw a man with his hands in front of him and a 6in knife in his right hand.”

Magistrates heard Haslam ‘looked like a man possessed’ and shouted something, with the witness saying: “I ran off. I feared for my life.”

Haslam, 33, admitted possessing a blade in public and using threatening behaviour.

He was handed a 16-week jail term, suspended for a year, a one-year probation supervision order and ordered to pay £85 costs. The knife will be destroyed.

Kevin Tomlinson, for Haslam, said his client was a former heroin addict who suffered paranoid schizophrenia and had experienced problems outside his flat in the past. When he heard noises, he mistakenly believed someone was trying to force entry.

Mr Tomlinson said: “He was upset during the police interview and asked for an apology to be passed to the two council employees.”