Police Tasered A52 knifeman

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A DRUNK West Hallam man was Tasered after he ran towards police on the A52 brandishing a knife.

A police officer had asked Richard Smedley to move away from the central reservation, but was forced to jump back into his patrol car after Smedley came towards him with a knife.

Smedley then chased after the vehicle along the carriageway.

The 29-year-old then produced another knife and waved both hands around in ‘a stabbing motion’, Derby Crown Court heard.

The stand-off between police and Smedley, between Derby and Spondon, continued for about 10 minutes before the firearms unit arrived and used a Taser on him.

Sentencing Smedley, Judge Ebrahim Mooncey said: “You were behaving so aggressively that the police believed CS spray wouldn’t be enough to get you under control. A Taser had to be used to stop you continuing your behaviour. The police officers reported that they were very fearful of what could have happened.”

The court heard that, at one point, Smedley held one of the knives to his throat. He also threw a can of lager towards the officers.

Avik Mukherjee, prosecuting, said the Spondon-bound carriageway was closed during the incident, at 10.30pm on October 16 last year.

Smedley also moved on to the Derby-bound carriageway, causing at least one vehicle to slow down to avoid hitting him.

Mr Mukherjee said that after Smedley was Tasered and arrested, three knives were recovered from the area.

He told officers he had been on his way home and wanted to be left alone.

“He said it was a difficult time for him and he was depressed and suicidal,” said Mr Mukherjee.

The court heard that Smedley had a criminal record, which began in April 2009.

Keith Raynor, in mitigation, said Smedley had been working as a finance director at ‘a local university’ when his life took a turn for the worse.

He said: “His 18-month marriage fell apart. He then became stressed at work and lost his job and, to put it frankly, he hit the bottle. Alcohol has been his undoing. He is a binge drinker.”

Mr Raynor conceded that what he had done was dangerous. He said: “He was in the middle of a busy Derby road, brandishing knives. He could have killed himself and police did not deserve in their public duty to be confronted by him.”

The court heard that Smedley had already spent 150 days in custody.

He was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. He must do 120 hours of unpaid work and attend an alcohol rehabilitation programme.

Smedley, of Derwent Avenue, West Hallam, admitted threatening behaviour and possessing a bladed article in a public place.