Doncaster knifeman avoids jail sentence

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A man narrowly escaped jail after confronting a group of rowdy Doncaster youths with a knife.

Joshua Wilkinson, aged 21, went outside to remonstrate with three males and a female who were causing a disturbance near a block of flats.

Under tough laws on the use of weapons in public Wilkinson faced custody, but Sheffield Crown Court heard he did not go out with the intention of using the weapon.

A resident at Bannister House in Wheatley Park, Doncaster, heard shouting and swearing in the stairwell and went outside to tell the youths to quieten down.

But the group continued to be rowdy and she called the police.

She then looked out of her flat and saw Wilkinson march to the car park outside with a knife held out in front of him.

She heard him shouting at the group and said he was out there for around five minutes before police arrived.

Wilkinson, of Hirstgate, Mexborough, admitted affray and possessing a blade in public on April 1.

Cheryl Dudley, for Wilkinson, said he had a knife in his hand when he came out of his flat but did not advance at anybody with the weapon or lunge at anyone.

He was remanded in custody for 11 days following his arrest.

Judge Michael Murphy said jailing Wilkinson would do little for him or the community as he had already had a salutary lesson from being on remand.

“Anyone who takes a knife into the street will expect custody. In your case for the first time in your life you have experienced a time in prison. It was only 11 days but it will have the deterrent effect,” he added

He gave him a four-month jail term suspended for a year and ordered him to complete a ‘thinking skills’ programme for anger management.