Stranger threatened to stab to death victim, his friend and his family

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A stranger threatened to stab a man and his entire family to death, a court has heard.

Robert Collen, 38, came across the victim and his friend while out in Crab Lane, Gorleston last summer.

Norwich Crown Court heard the victim had heard Collen, who had been drinking, remark that he was going to "stab someone".

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said the victim and his friend carried on walking, but looked back to see Collen was following them and was about 50 metres behind.

They decided to sit on a bench to see if he would pass but he approached them.

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Mr Ivory said Collen told the victim he had a 12-inch blade in his back pocket and would "stab both of them and the victim's whole family to death".

Following the incident, which happened in July last year, a woman came out of a nearby property and tried to help but Collen continued saying he was going to stab the victim and his family.

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He then walked off down the road bringing the incident, which happened on July 8 last year, to an end.

The victim described the defendant's behaviour as "strange".

Collen, who lives on a house boat at River Green, Thorpe St Andrew, appeared for sentence on Friday (March 6) having previously admitted affray.

Judge Katharine Moore said it was a "troubling" offence which involved him making threats to stab someone, including the victim, his friend and the victim's family.

Judge Moore said the whole incident lasted just three or four minutes but never the less was "distressing" for those involved.

Collen was sentenced to a two year community order, including 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

There was also a residence requirement that he resides at his current address.

John Morgans, mitigating for Collen, said it was an "unusual case".

He said Collen was severely apologetic for what he did and "doesn't wish harm on anyone else".

Mr Morgans said the defendant clearly had quite significant mental health issues building up at the time of the offence last year.

But Mr Morgans said Collen was now in touch with the services that could assist him and he was said to be "grateful for the help he's now getting".

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