Man admits taking samurai sword into pub

Shaun Carpenter took the sword into The Airport Tavern in Felton, but did not threaten anybody. Pict

Shaun Carpenter took the sword into The Airport Tavern in Felton, but did not threaten anybody. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A man has been spared jail after taking a samurai sword into a pub as a ‘cry for help’ over the mental health difficulties he was facing.

Shaun Carpenter, from Backwell, scared drinkers by tapping the big blade on the floor of The Airport Tavern last month.

But North Somerset Courthouse was told on June 5 that Carpenter committed the act to seek help from authorities over his illness and alcohol addiction.

Charis Cavaghan-Pack, chair of the bench, said "You are worthwhile and don't think you aren't.

"If you ever come back to court with a similar offence, it would be treated very differently so keep away from offensive weapons.

"We accept it was a cry for help, a crier au secours.

"It was very foolish but there wasn't an intention to cause harm or hurt, but it would have seemed worrying for people in the pub."

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Carpenter, of Downside, visited the Felton pub on May 20.

Michael Collins, prosecuting, said the defendant had belongings in the pub car park and after drinking fetched the sword.

The court was told Carpenter was 'heavily intoxicated' at the time of the incident.

Mr Collins added: "He (Carpenter) began tapping the sword on the floor, causing some concern."

Avon and Somerset Constabulary were called but people known to Carpenter had taken the weapon from him before officers arrived.

Sue Cameron, defending, said Carpenter told police during interview he had been struggling with his 'mental health and anxiety'.

She described her client as being eight out of 10 on a scale of drunkenness and said trauma experienced during his childhood had led to problems with his 'complex' mental wellbeing.

Magistrates were told by the probation service Carpenter had a 'low risk' of re-offending.

The 34-year-old admitted one count of possessing an offensive weapon - a crime which normally would lead to a prison sentence, magistrates told him

But a more lenient penalty was handed down by Ms Cavaghan-Pack, as magistrates believed additional support for Carpenter was the more appropriate sentence.

Carpenter was told to continue to work with mental health experts and accept support from charity Addaction on his alcohol dependency, as part of a 18-month community order.

Carpenter was also ordered to hand over the sword to be destroyed and to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.