Pub landlord threatened to kill man he chased through streets with axe

Harry Price

Former landlord Harry Price leaving Norwich Crown Court after receiving 20 month suspended jail sentence. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A pub landlord has been given a suspended jail sentence after he chased another man with an axe threatening to kill him.

Harry Price, 30, pursued his victim through the streets of Downham Market after a violent row broke out during an early hours drinking session at The Swan Hotel.

Norwich Crown Court heard the victim was so terrified he fled to the town’s police station seeking refuge.

Price, who was in the process of renovating the pub when the incident occurred on September 5 last year, had previously pleaded guilty to threatening Kane Murell with a sharply pointed article in the town's High Street.

Prosecuting, Jude Durr said Price had invited Mr Murell and two women, including Kiera Barnes-Quinn, to visit the pub but that a disagreement occurred while they were drinking.

As the three visitors left the pub at 3am, Price armed himself with an axe and “pursued them down the street shouting threats directed at Mr Murrell saying he was going to kill him,” he added.

The Swan Hotel in Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Swan Hotel in Downham Market where Harry Price was landlord when he threatened a man with an axe. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Emma Reed, mitigating, said: “He completely accepts he intended to threaten and frighten and with this weapon there was an immediate risk of harm but he never had any intention to actually use it to cause injury. 

“Whilst he was running it dawned on him to think 'what am I doing?' and he stopped himself in his tracks and he tried to call out to say 'don’t worry', but it was too late.”

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Sentencing him to a 20 month prison term suspended for 20 months, Judge Maureen Bacon said his behaviour had been “utterly disgusting”.

“There was no justification for what you did whatsoever,” she said. “The circumstances of your pursuit with a dangerous weapon, an axe, were such as to cause a serious risk of public disorder, indeed to a certain extent it already did.”

A five year restraining order banning Price from visiting the Live and Let Live pub in Downham or contacting Mr Murell, Miss Barnes-Quinn or Alice Greeves was also imposed.

The court heard Price had since lost the licence to the pub but had been offered others in King’s Lynn and Peterborough.

But Judge Bacon said: “I sincerely hope that any council looking at you as a potential licensee will think very hard before suggesting you are a fit and proper person.”