A UEA student who walked into Tesco wearing a balaclava and wielding a knife had been suffering from a manic episode, a court has heard.

Police were called after staff at the store on Unthank Road in Norwich were confronted by a man holding a bread knife on April 9.

Foivos Panagiotopoulos, 25, was eventually restrained using pepper spray after officers found him in the nearby Pear Tree pub still wearing the balaclava and with the knife tucked into his waistband. 

Norwich Magistrates’ Court was told staff had said the PHD philosophy student did not threaten customers or staff but that his behaviour was “just very odd”.

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David Foulks, mitigating, said he had been suffering a “manic episode” at the time and had no recollection. 

Following his arrest he had been detained for 28 days for a mental health assessment and had since been diagnosed and treated in the UK and his native Greece. 

He urged magistrates to take a sympathetic view, saying he was “a young man with great potential ahead of him”.

Magistrates fined him £346 asd ordered he pay costs totalling £223.