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Jail for knife-wielding trespasser

A 27-year old man who barged into the home of an elderly and vulnerable woman armed with a knife was yesterday sentenced to three years and one month in prison.

The defendant was acquitted of charges of attempted rape and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence by a Supreme Court jury last month.

However, on the opening day of the trial he pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article.

The Chief Justice, Anthony Dudley, told the court it was an “absolute given” that he would sentence the defendant solely for the possession of the knife but said that he needed to make sense of that verdict.

The judge set out the following factual matrix: that the defendant had trespassed into the home of a “vulnerable, elderly lady”, and with knife in hand had barged into her bedroom while she watched TV.

He added that this, in any case, accords with the defendant’s evidence at trial but is nonetheless a “very serious aggravating feature of the offence”.

The judge highlighted a further aggravating feature: that the defendant had armed himself with the knife in the first place to threaten or intimidate a friend with whom he had quarrelled.

The fact that the defendant committed the offence whilst on bail for other matters and his ‘extensive’ list of previous convictions particularly in relation to violent offences, was also flagged up by Mr Justice Dudley.

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