Drunken Matlock man terrorised neighbourhood with pirate-style knife

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
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A drunken Matlock man who terrorised residents on a suburban street with a pirate-style knife has been spared jail.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard last Wednesday how Derek Gaunt was spotted by terrified Rutland Gate Close residents waving the ten-inch blade and threatening to stab and gut passers-by.

Many residents had already stopped talking to the 47-year-old, according to the court, because of his drunkenness and habit of shouting and swearing at children.

Prosecuting solicitor John Cooper said: “They could hear him say, ‘come up here. I have got a Samurai sword and will gut you all,’ and that he would stab them.”

The court heard how residents saw Gaunt come out of his home waving the knife, described as being a pirate-type with a curved blade and ornate handle. Mr Cooper added Gaunt was shouting he would ‘gut them’.

When interviewed, Gaunt originally denied making threats, leaving his property and taking the knife outside. He told police there was a long-standing issue with neighbours and he had been shouting at wrestling on TV.

Gaunt, of Rutland Gate Close, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour after the incident on November 17.

Bertie Mather, defending, said: “He was extremely drunk and couldn’t believe he had behaved in the way he had.”

Mr Mather added that Gaunt, who is receiving help for alcohol issues, could not remember the facts.

Gaunt was sentenced to a 12 month community order with supervision, an alcohol activity requirement and an eight-week curfew. He must pay £145 in costs and charges.

Magistrate Michael Hilton said: “This was disgraceful behaviour.”

Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife.