Drunken butcher in pub knife rampage

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A butcher had to be overpowered by customers when he went on a drunken knife rampage in a city centre pub.

David Lee threatened staff and customers at the Wakey Tavern on the day he was made redundant after 21 years working as a slaughter man.

A court heard Lee, 52, took out one of his work knives from a rucksack and ran at a man who ejected him from the pub for behaving “inappropriately” towards a barmaid and female customers.

Dale Brook, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court how the incident happened around 8.45pm on February 13 at the pub on Kirkgate, Wakefield.

Lee was taken outside but came back inside brandishing the knife and charged towards the man who had thrown him out. Other customers then got involved and one of them threw a chair at Lee in a bid to restrain him. Another man suffered a cut to his hand during the struggle.

Mr Brook said the barmaid was left “terrified” and feared she was going to be stabbed.

The prosecutor said: “Police recovered his backpack and a further six knives were found.” Mr Brook added: “The aggravating features are that he was in drink.

“But for the intervention of others it is quite possible someone could have been seriously hurt.” Lee, of Parkhill Grove, Eastmoor, Wakefield, was interviewed about the incident but claimed he could not remember what he had done because he had drunk so much. He admitted to officers that he had a problem with alcohol.

Lee pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and threatening a person with a knife.

John Nixon, mitigating, said: “These knives were in his possession not because he wanted to confront anyone, not because he was a member of a gang, but simply because he was on his way home from work from a job that he had done for 21 years.

“They were the tools of his trade. It was his last day and he was bringing them home.”

Lee was given a 12-month community order during which he must attend an alcohol treatment programme and do 150 hours unpaid work.

Recorder Gregory Perrins said: “Your actions that day were significantly out of character. You are somebody who has really hit rock bottom.”

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