Drunk in park sent to jail for knife threats

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A DRUNKEN homeless man terrorised a group of teenagers in a Sheffield park with two knives, a court heard.

Andrew Gill, aged 30, picked on the four boys and five girls in Endcliffe Park because he thought they were laughing at him.

Gill, who has served a three-year jail term for robbery, pulled a large knife from his right sleeve and pointed the blade towards the group – all aged about 17.

Prosecutor Louise Gallagher said he plucked a smaller knife from his left sleeve and with a blade in each hand taunted the teenagers: “You can either have this or this.”

As the group fled saying they wanted no trouble Gill shouted: “If you have a problem I will break every bone in your body except the girls. I won’t touch the girls.”

Gill then turned on a 17-year-old boy and punched him on the top of his right arm still holding a knife and pushed him backwards.

The teenagers thought they had shaken Gill off but he jumped a fence and followed them for another 100 yards.

When arrested, Gill had a holdall containing a bread knife, kitchen knife, Stanley knife and a metal bar.

Miss Gallagher said he thought the teenagers had been making comments about him and his friend who both lived in the park.

He had drunk two or three litres of strong cider and four cans of lager and was not in control of his senses.

He said he only had the knives to prepare food.

Gill, of no fixed address, was convicted of having a blade in public, carrying offensive weapons and threatening behaviour.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he had a long criminal record including offences of possessing a metal bar in 2006 and possessing an imitation firearm and lock knife in October, 2007.

The court heard he had just been released from a three-year sentence for robbery when he confronted the teenagers on Saturday, September 3 at 11.30pm.

Richard Jepson said Gill lived in the park with a friend who was his ‘only link to the rest of the world’.

He thought the teenagers were laughing at them.

Jailing him for 12 months, Miss Recorder Sophie Drake told Gill the boy he threatened “thought he was going to be stabbed and was very scared and felt very distressed.”