Grantham court: Father grabbed knife when group fought family

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After a large group came to blows with his family on New Year’s Day, a 57-year-old took a kitchen knife from his daughter’s kitchen, the court heard.

Richard Baxter of Hathersage Close, Grantham, pleaded guilty to possessing a kitchen knife in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

Prosecutor Shelley Wilson read out a statement from a witness who saw a fight unfold outside their Hudson Way home in the early hours of January 1.

The resident was awoken by raised voices at about 1.45am, and on looking out of their bedroom window she saw between six to eight men and women in dark clothing arguing amongst themselves, around 30ft away.

The demeanor of the group was described as very aggressive, with lots of shouting, pushing and swearing and a group of them then went down an alleyway.

She then saw two men punch another male, before they disappeared from view down the alleyway from where the witness heard scuffling.

Concerned for their welfare the resident called police, while also noticing an older man nearby who was subsequently identifed as Baxter.

He then also disappeared down the alleyway, and when he returned the witness noticed that he was holding a kitchen knife of about four to five inches in his right hand down by his side.

Although he once again went out of sight, when he walked under a street light they could see the knife was now in his right hand back pocket, until a police car arrived and he threw it into a hedge. The witness informed the officers of its whereabouts and Baxter was arrested.

He informed them that he, his wife, daughter, her partner and a friend had been out to The Black Dog to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and that they were on their way back to his daughter’s house when they met the other group.

The defendant said they had been aggressive and violent towards his family, and although he was reluctant to get involved, after his daughter was pushed to the floor he decided to go into her house and get the knife.

Defending Baxter, Simon Cobb said that his client had not been in trouble with the police before and had just been out on New Year’s Eve as a family.

It was as they approached his daughter’s address that they met the group of around four couples, and although he couldn’t remember what, something was said to which exception was taken and a fight began.

Mr Cobb said that when the defendant saw his daughter on the floor and also believed that his wife had been kicked to the ground, he went into his daughter’s home and grabbed the knife.

He added that Baxter intended to scare off the others and bring the incident to an end, not to actually use the knife, but unfortunately one of the group ‘called his bluff’ and tried to provoke him into using it.

At this point Baxter backed off, saying nothing else to this individual and putting the knife in his pocket, until police arrived to find him and his family. The members of the other group had left by then.

“He knows it was very silly to do it and could have had serious consequences,” concluded Mr Cobb.

Magistrates adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report until February 16, with Baxter still on unconditional bail.