Drunken knifeman attacks Burnley neighbour

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.
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A drunken knifeman who left a neighbour with 10 cuts and bleeding from his leg after accusing him of taking money from his bank account, was spared jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Tony Copeman (57), who had had an alcohol problem, thrust the blade at Lee Hibbert four times, injuring his fingers and palm when the victim tried to disarm him. Copeman, who had turned up at the victim’s flat, which was below his in the same block, then made threats after the victim managed to fight him off, telling Mr Hibbert he was a dead man.

Hibbert, who had known Copeman for around three weeks, visited his house on the night of the incident for half an hour. When he was leaving, Copeman asked him to get him some money from the cash machine and gave him his post office card. Mr Hibbert was unable to withdraw any cash, because no funds were available, returned the card and went back to his own flat.

Miss Patel (prosecuting) said about two hours later, the victim heard banging on his door and opened it to find the defendant shouting “£5.13, £5.13.” The victim told Copeman he didn’t have the money and the defendant then produced a 10-inch kitchen knife. The hearing was told Copeman enjoyed “a good deal of support” from his family and a judge said it seemed the best way of ensuring he behaved himself was by being with them, rather than in prison again.

The defendant, formerly of Brownhill Avenue, Burnley, but who has moved to Padiham since the attack, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, on May 12th. He received 12 months in custody, suspended for two years, with a 60 day rehabilitation activity requirement.