‘Timebomb’ knifeman from Burnley in court

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A self-harmer found repeatedly with knives – and said to be a “time-bomb waiting to go off” – is facing six months inside, but threatened to kill himself if he was locked up.

Richard Croskell (28) dropped a five inch hunting knife after he was taken to the ground by police in Burnley. It is the third time in 11 months he has been convicted of having a blade and under new legislation brought in last month he will get a jail term of at least six months as a knife “second striker,” unless it is considered unjust, the town’s magistrates heard.

The hearing was told Croskell describes himself as being paranoid, suffering from acute depression and anxiety and having suicidal tendencies. He is said to self-harm to the extent that he has no sharp objects at home, does not allow himself metal cutlery and eats with plastic knives and forks.

The defendant has an extensive record and is currently on a community order for possessing a blade, but has never been to prison.

His offender manager, the court heard, has grave concerns about his mental health, had involved the crisis team and wanted him assessed.

The defendant is currently classed as a medium risk of harm, but if he remained in the community that would go up to high risk. A probation officer told the Bench the offender manager described Croskell as a “time-bomb waiting to go off.”

The defendant, of Grey Street, Burnley, admitted possessing a blade in Halstead Street, on August 12th. He was due to see a psychiatrist the day after his appearance. The Bench adjourned sentence for reports on the defendant and bailed him.

Graeme Parkinson (defending) said Croskell did not at any stage brandish the knife, adding: “He has no intention of causing harm to anybody but himself. He does acknowledge that he needs help.”