Leeds high street knifeman terror

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A DAD who created panic by going on a supermarket rampage armed with knives has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Customers fled in terror and it was feared a group of children were going to be attacked by Michael Palmer during the incident in Harehills, Leeds.

A court heard Palmer, 32, took two large kitchen knives from the homeware aisle at the ASDA store on Harehills Lane before taking them out of their packaging and using them to attack a cake stand.

A major alert was sparked after Palmer then walked out of the store clutching the weapons and was spotted by worried members of the public as he walked along Harehills Lane during a busy Sunday afternoon on Father’s Day, June 16, this year.

One witness described seeing Palmer staring at a group of children and feared he was going to attack one of the them.

Palmer then ran at a local resident who was standing in his garden when he shouted at him to drop the weapons.

The dad-of-four thrust one of the knives through his garden fence and it cut the man’s hand as he tried to defend himself with a spade.

Palmer then went into a Sainsbury’s local store and created panic.

David Mackay, prosecuting, said customers including women and children suffered injuries as they fell over trying to run from the store and food and drink was knocked over.

A woman who had two children with her had to pick the youngsters up and flee the store as she was not able to push their pram out of the building.

Palmer, of Brownhills Crescent, Harehills, then discharged a fire extinguisher at police officers before locking himself into an office for five hours.

Negotiators were called to try to persuade Palmer to give himself up. During the stand-off he lit a number of fires and firefighters had to knock down a wall to tackle the blaze.

Palmer eventually gave himself up around 6pm. He pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, assault and possession of a bladed article.

A court heard evidence from a doctor who described how Palmer was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia but was responding well to treatment at New Lodge secure unit in Wakefield.

Palmer’s barrister, Narinder Rathour, said Palmer committed the offences after becoming upset at not being able to see his children on Fathers’ Day.

Judge Neil Clark imposed a Hospital Order under the Mental Health Act to enable Palmer to continue to receive treatment for his condition.

He said: “All of this is linked to the fact that you have an illness which you yourself recognise.”

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