Leeds neighbours jailed over sword and knife brawl

John Flannigan
.
John Flannigan .

Two next door neighbours who attacked each other with knives and a samurai sword during a fight in the street have been sent to prison.

James Johnson, 52, and John Flannigan, 43, squared up to each other with the weapons during the late-night brawl in the Farnley area of Leeds.

Jamie Johnson.

Jamie Johnson.

A court heard the two men are also work colleagues and friends but fell out over how much they were paid.

Clare Walsh, prosecuting, said the two men argued over the phone in the early hours of June 9 this year.

Flannigan, who was drunk, then left his home on Whincover Road with a samurai sword and went to challenge Johnson.

Ms Walsh said Johnson armed himself with two kitchen knives and the two men “wrestled” with each other on a grassed area in front of their properties.

Johnson’s partner called the police and the fight was broken up by another neighbour.

The fight had ended by the time officers had arrived but both men were arrested and taken to hospital. An empty sword sheath was found on the sofa at Flannigan’s home.

Flannigan had suffered a one-centimetre puncture wound below his jaw,

As the two men passed each other in hospital medical staff heard Flannigan say: “You stabbed me in the neck Jim.”

Both men admitted wrestling with each other when interviewed by police and accepted they had been carrying weapons.

Flannigan pleaded guilty to affray and possession of an offensive weapon. Johnson also pleaded guilty to affray and two possessing an offensive weapon charges.

Lawyers representing the pair described them as hard working men who were usually friends. They both accepted that they had acted foolishly.

Both men were jailed for 18 months.

Recorder Simon Eckersley told them: “You are grown men, not silly adolescents. What on earth you were thinking meeting each other in the early hours of the morning we will never truly understand.

“This was an extremely grave and dangerous piece of public violence.

“Knife crime is a blight on society. For good reason, the criminal courts treat the use of knives and blades and swords very seriously indeed.

“it was more a process of luck than judgement that either of you were not seriously or even fatally injured and this was in full view of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the area.”

Have you downloaded the free YEP app available on Android and iphone?

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ANDROID VERSION OF THE YEP’S FREE NEWS AND SPORT APP

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE iPHONE VERSION OF THE YEP’S FREE NEWS AND SPORT APP

SNOW GO: The train will leave whether it snows or not.

Days Out: The Santa Express on the North York Moors Railway