A drunk man who admitted terrorising Norwich shopworkers who refused to give him more alcohol on Christmas Day has finally faced justice - more than 16 years later.

Jakub Szweczak, 45, had previously admitted affray after being a "drunken nuisance" at the City Convenience Store in Magdalen Street on December 25, 2007.

Eastern Daily Press: Magdalen Street, NorwichMagdalen Street, Norwich (Image: Newsquest)The Polish national, previously of Magdalen Street, Norwich, had been due to be sentenced in 2008 for his part in the incident during which the shopkeepers were abused and threatened with a rusty knife, but fled.

Norwich Crown Court heard Szweczak absconded to London because at the time he had a pregnant girlfriend and "didn't want to be in prison" when she gave birth.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich Crown CourtNorwich Crown Court (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)But Szweczak finally appeared in court for sentencing on Friday, having been arrested by police earlier this year.

Adjoa Adjei-Ntow, prosecuting,  said Szweczak was "drunk and unsteady on his feet" when he and a friend went to the Magdalen Street store on December 25, 2007.

Szweczak, who had earlier bought alcohol from the shop, asked for "free alcohol" but was refused and purchased vodka before swearing at staff.

At one point when they left the store after being refused alcohol they banged on a passing BMW car behaving "aggressively" resulting in a neighbouring cafe owner, who saw what was going on, having to "lock the door and turn off the lights" as she was "fearful".

Eastern Daily Press: Magdalen Street, NorwichMagdalen Street, Norwich (Image: Newsquest)The defendant and his friend then started behaving aggressively in front of a Mercedes car in which there was a family, including two small children.

The pair repeatedly returned to the store, at one point being given a bottle of alcohol which they broke against the shop window, before trying to get more "free alcohol".

During the incident they were chased out of the store by one of the shopkeepers with a piece of wood before they returned a final time with Szweczak's co-defendant holding a rusty knife.

Police were called and they were arrested.

Sentencing Szweczak to 18-months in prison, Judge Katharine Moore said: "The unhappy events of Christmas Day 2007 occurred because you and your co-defendant had both had too much to drink.

Eastern Daily Press: Judge Katharine MooreJudge Katharine Moore (Image: Newsquest)She said Szweczak and his co-defendant had made "a number of trips" to acquire alcohol and described them both as a "drunken nuisance".

"You were a nuisance inside the shop and a nuisance outside".

Judge Moore said he had "quite deliberately absented yourself" and in so doing "evaded justice for a substantial period of time".

She said the fact he "vanished" and "no-one knew where you were" had only "added to the disquiet of the shopkeepers in Magdalen Street".

Michael Clare, mitigating, said it had been a nasty offence which was borne out of "drunkenness rather than pre-planning".

He said it was the co-defendant who had the knife, not Szweczak, but accepted he was "party to that".

In terms of the bail act offence, Mr Clare said it was not sophisticated absconding but that he had moved to London as he had a pregnant girlfriend who was about to give birth and he "didn't want to be in prison" when it happened.

He said the defendant wanted to apologise.