Leeds man jailed over stab threat to roofer

A man who threatened to a stab a roofer during a row over broken glass has been sent to prison for two years.


Former soldier John Ellison flew into a drunken rage with the workman as he was working on a neighbour’s home on Meanwood Road, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim had a kitchen knife held close to his throat during the incident and feared for his life.

Catherine Stuckey, prosecuting, said the incident happened on January 24 this year after Ellison had complained two days earlier about some broken glass on the ground and had asked them to clear it up.

Ellison became aggressive and challenged the victim with a bright green seven-inch kitchen knife.

One of the victim’s colleagues was on some scaffolding at the time and urged Ellison to put the weapon down.

Ellison said: “I told you to clear the glass up and my son nearly cut himself and all you did was laugh. You are all going to get it.”

Police arrested Ellison, 46, and he claimed the incident was a “misunderstanding.”

He pleaded guilty to affray and threatening a person with a bladed article in a public place.

Ellison, also known as John Clark, has previous convictions for violence including rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assaulting a police officer.

He was the subject of a suspended sentence at the time of the incident.

Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said Ellison suffered from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his experiences while serving in the Scots Guards between 1986 and 1992.

Rathour said Ellison often drank heavily to cope with his problems.

Mr Rathour handed the court a reference written on Ellison’s behalf by a pastor who had been helping him on a daily basis.

The reference described how Ellison was a “walking miracle and a work in progress.”

Jailing Ellison, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “The victim thought he was going to be stabbed. He was scared.

“It is very worrying that you were out on the streets with a knife.

“There is a question in my mind as to whether you pose a danger to the public.

“The public are rightly concerned about those who threaten others with a knife in the street.

“Knives can cause the most terrible injuries.

“Although this did not lead to any injury, the use of a knife in the street is something that the courts will always answer with a deterrent sentence.”