sheffield’s most senior judge has warned criminals carrying knives onto the streets to expect an immediate custodial sentence.
The Recorder of Sheffield Judge Alan Goldsack QC spoke out when he sentenced 21-year-old Pius Kibathi to a year behind bars after he was caught running along a Rotherham street last month brandishing two knives.
Kibathi, of Eldon Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, who pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, was locked up five years ago for stabbing a man with a knife.
Sheffield Crown Court heard police spotted him armed with the two knives after officers were called out to a report of another man being stabbed in his stomach.
Nicholas Neale, prosecuting, said: “Police got a call from the ambulance service who were dealing with somebody who had received an injury to his lower abdomen which required 17 stitches. He subsequently would not co-operate with the police.
“Officers saw the defendant bare chested chasing another man.
“The officers noticed that Pius Kibathi was carrying two knives – one in each hand.
“He discarded them in some bushes. He then hid behind a bush.
“He was interviewed and said he had gone out drinking in Rotherham town centre.
“He had no recollection of anything that happened until he woke up in the cells.”
Stuart Newton, defending Kibathi, said apart from his two brushes with the law he ‘ordinarily leads a socially useful, socially responsible life’.
“Sadly, in October of this year he and his friends went out drinking.
“It seems they all had an explosive mix of drink and it is still not clear what it is that happened,” added the barrister.
“Mr Kibathi had lost a tooth and had a black eye.
“When he was arrested he had no recollection of anything.
“He knows and is more than well aware that this sort of behaviour cannot go left unchecked.”
Jailing him, Judge Goldsack said: “There is very great concern at the moment about people taking knives out onto the streets and using them to threaten other people.
“What aggravates your case is that five years ago you were in trouble for affray and possession of an offensive weapon – that again was a knife which you used to cause some injury and you received an 18-month detention and training order.
“Those who carry knives on the streets anticipating trouble and causing injury can only expect immediate custodial sentences.”