A MAN who pulled a knife on a group of students in Chichester has been spared jail.
Leon Cribb, 23, whose address is listed at Dell Quay Road, Chichester, threatened four young people with a blade he had been carrying on a footbridge on February 24 of this year.
Cribb had already been found guilty of possessing the weapon and using it to threaten the group at an earlier trial, and appearing at Chichester Crown Court on Wednesday he was handed a four-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Judge Christopher Parker QC told Cribb he had only just escaped prison.
Judge Parker said: “On February 24 you were walking through the town centre and had on you a knife and it appears to me that you had been wandering around for several months with the knife.
“On this occasion, mistakenly you thought you had been challenged or confronted and you drew that knife and frightened four young people who were going about their business.
“They sensibly reported you to the authorities and you were arrested.”
Judge Parker said both the probation service and health professionals deemed that he was no longer a danger to the public.
He said: “The first concern is given to your fragile mental state and if that makes you a danger to the public.
“The health professionals and experienced probation officers both find that you are not, but that is under circumstances which are satisfactory to you and you can become agitated and defensive.
“But you appear to be learning to manage yourself which is a step in the right direction.
“You have the assistance of your friends and your employers which is helping to make you no longer a risk to members of the public.
“It’s reassuring you will no longer be carrying around knife in public. If you do you will come back before me and I will have no choice but to send you straight to prison.”
Cribb was also given a 20-day rehabilitation requirement.
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