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Man jailed for threatening doctor with meat cleaver

Court

Court

A man who brandished a meat cleaver in a doctors’ surgery was jailed for four months yesterday.

Mark Johnston issued threats to one of the GPs after entering the practice in Belfast on Monday, prosecutors said.

In a previous incident the 19-year-old was also spotted on the streets armed with a machete.

Johnston, with an address at Ebor Street in the city, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an offensive weapon in public.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police were called to the surgery at an undisclosed location.

Johnston had gone in carrying the meat cleaver and made threats to a doctor before leaving.

When he was later arrested in the Donegall Road area he still had the butcher’s knife.

He told police he had it for his own protection because he was under threat from paramilitaries, the court was told.

Johnston also admitted to having a machete in the Kilburn Street area of the city on May 11.

He had been arrested at the time following reports of a noisy party and a man being armed with a hatchet.

Appearing before the court on both charges, Johnston’s lawyer confirmed he wanted to enter guilty pleas and begin serving any sentence imposed.

Joel Lindsay said: “He maintained the case that he was carrying this for his own protection.

“But in reality it’s more than that, because he gets aggressive at the GPs surgery and a meat cleaver was dropped in the street when confronted.

“They are not the type of weapons one would carry in relation to self-protection.”

Jailing Johnston for a total of four months for the two offences, District Judge Peter King said the involvement of a doctor made the meat cleaver incident more serious.

 

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