A man who threatened to kill a shopkeeper and returned later armed with a knife, has escaped an immediate jail sentence after a court heard he has been offered a full-time job as an Ambassador with the Prince’s Trust.
Judge Christopher Batty told Kyle Baptise the case had posed sentencing difficulties because “there is no doubt you should go to custody for a significant period of time.
What you did that day was an absolute disgrace, threatening to kill that man because he hadn’t got the lead you need for your Freeview.”
But he said he accepted Baptise was under stress at the time and he had read “glowing references” about his work with the Prince’s Trust which had made him decide to give him a chance.
“They have been so impressed with the hours you have put in free of charge over the last few years that they are actually offering you a full time job as an Ambassador which would be lost if you were locked up.”
“It is so far removed from what you did in that shop on that day.”
Baptiste, 26, now of Browning Road, Deighton, Huddersfield was given 16 months in prison suspended for two years with supervision and a high intensity programme up to 50 days after admitting making a threat to kill and having a bladed article. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs.
Joanne Shepherd prosecuting said it was on June 23 last year Mohammed Louchene was working in a shop in Hyde Park Road when Baptiste entered and asked about an extension. He was told everything was out on display and if it was not there they were sold out.
Baptiste started to become aggressive and began shouting that he wanted it to watch tv now. He held his hand out pointing his finger in the shape of a gun and said: “I’ll kill you.”
He was asked to leave and threw some washers on the floor as he did, but 10-15 minutes later he returned and pulled out a knife.
Mr Louchene grabbed a wrench to protect himself and Baptiste left after a further confrontation outside but was spotted going into his then address in Alexander Road, Leeds.
Graham Parkin for Baptiste said he realised he needed to change and was keen to take up his £14,000 salary with the Trust and continue to help others.