Drunk man threatens to kill police with African-style wooden spear

Richard Clark was sentenced to 18 months. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Richard Clark was sentenced to 18 months. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

A man threatened a police officer with an African-style wooden spear as he wielded it in the street in a market town.

Richard Clark, 54, was seen on Norwich Road, Dereham, armed with the spear and when officers arrived he thrust it towards the police car and shouted he was going to kill them, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said Clark appeared intoxicated and had told police it was a good job they had come otherwise he would kill the officers and kill multiple people.

Mr Vass said the spear was wooden and had no metal tip and said: “It is an ornamental African spear and does not appear to have a sharp blade on it.”

Mr Vass said the incident ended shortly afterwards when a friend of Clark’s took the spear from him before police had time to get out of the patrol car and Clark was then arrested.


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Clark, of The Gatehouse, Dereham, who appeared over a link from Norwich Prison, admitted threatening behaviour towards a police officer while in possession of an offensive weapon on August 23.

The court heard he was in breach of a 14-month suspended sentence for threatening behaviour towards a neighbour, which also happened during lockdown, when he threatened a neighbour with a claw hammer and poured lighter fuel over his motorbike.

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Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Katharine Moore accepted he had mental health difficulties and found lockdown difficult.

She said he had consumed a vast amount of alcohol and had been shouting and swearing while armed with a wooden spear.

She said that he had carried out this latest offence just three months after the previous incident involving a neighbour.

She said he had been given a chance last time but said: “You are unable or unwilling to stop drinking and in drink you commit this offence.”

Danielle O’Donovan, for Clark, said it was more of a ceremonial wooden paddle than a spear and on the day of the incident he had consumed a lot of alcohol.

She said he had mental health problems and had abstained from drinking but the stress of lockdown led to a relapse, but he now wanted to engage with help.

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