Ex-detective disarms Burnley drug addict knifeman

A Padiham heroin addict walked in front of a retired police inspector’s car with a large knife sticking out of his pocket and tried to get on a crowded bus, a court heard.

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

Burnley Crown Court was told how ex-detective Derek Jones called the police, but then leapt into action, took the knife from Sean Metcalfe (46) and pulled him from the vehicle as officers arrived.

Father-of-four Metcalfe claimed he found the blade under a bench he was sitting on in the town centre and was taking it home. He was recently convicted by magistrates after a trial of possessing an article with a blade. The defendant was in breach of a crown court suspended jail term and had been committed to the higher court for sentence.

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The crown court hearing was told how the defendant had been given the suspended jail term last December, just four weeks before the incident, for burgling his parents’ Hapton Road, Padiham, home while they were away and stealing £400 from their bank account.

Metcalfe, formerly of Bright Street, was spared prison again – at least for now – after a judge was told he was in rehab and gave him a chance to prove he has “turned the corner”. Judge Beverley Lunt deferred sentence until November 2nd.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said, on January 8th, at 7pm, Mr Jones was driving along Padiham Road, Burnley, and as he passed the Tim Bobbin pub, he noticed the defendant and thought he was under the influence of drink.

Metcalfe went slowly across the road and the former officer had to stop to avoid hitting him. Mr Parker continued: “As he went past, Mr Jones saw a large knife protruding from the right hand rear pocket of his jeans. Mr Jones stopped his vehicle, phoned the police and continued observations. He saw the defendant try to get onto a bus and in a taxi, but both refused to allow him aboard.

“Two mounted officers were arriving and were a short distance from the defendant when he tried to get on a bus with a number of people on it. Mr Jones approached the defendant, removed the knife from his back pocket, threw it to the ground, grabbed hold of him and pulled him off the bus. As that was happening, the mounted officers had arrived and the defendant was handcuffed and arrested and taken to the police station.” The hearing was told Metcalfe had a record from the 1980s, which included burglary and theft.

Richard Taylor (defending) said an awful lot of time and effort had been invested into the defendant.

He has been into detoxification for four weeks, that was extremely successful, he had then gone into rehabilitation and after that would move to a half-way house.

Mr Taylor continued: “This is a man, now 46, who has a record commensurate with somebody whose life has been dominated by drugs.”

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The solicitor said Metcalfe had the knife simply because he thought he could make use of it and was taking it home.

Deferring sentence, Judge Lunt said it was too early yet to take a risk on the defendant. She told Metcalfe: “I’m not sure yet whether you have turned this corner in your life. It looks as though you have and I hope you have.”