A former soldier who threatened to stab himself and armed police during a house siege has been jailed.
Officers were called to Joseph Arnfield’s house on Kipling Place in Great Harwood after a ‘falling out’ with his grandfather.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the 23-year-old, who had drunk whiskey and taken cannabis, was seen carrying a bread knife, refusing to leave and shouting to officers to get back.
He told them: “See this? I’ve got a knife in my hand. I’m going to stab myself. I’m going to stab you if you come in here.”
Arnfield pleaded guilty to threatening a person with a blade with an immediate risk of serious physical harm and was jailed for eight months.
Rebecca Jones, prosecuting, said police were called to the house on September 24 and Arnfield could be seen through a living room window ‘making threats to self-harm’.
Miss Jones said he was holding the bread knife to his throat and repeatedly threatened to stab himself in the head. The court heard how armed police were called and after negotiating with him he left the house through a window carrying a knife.
Miss Jones said he approached one officer and ‘had his arms outstretched’ and was ‘aggressive and threatening towards him’ before being tasered.
Mark Stuart, defending, said his grandfather called the police after a falling out and they have since had a ‘reconciliation’.
He said Arnfield had enlisted in the Army and when he was granted a leave of absence after sustaining injury he started committing offences. He was later discharged on medical grounds.
Mr Stuart told the court it was a ‘stupid, unpleasant and ugly incident’.
He said: “He wasn’t intent on causing injury or damage to others. When the police arrive the place where the knife goes is mainly to his own neck rather than towards anything else.
“The first thing he says to officers is that he’s going to take his own life. He shouldn’t have come out of the house with a weapon in his hand.
"The only person to suffer injury and quite rightly so was the defendant who was quite properly tasered.
"There is no criticism of the officers. They were perfectly right to do so because somebody who has taken a mixture of whiskey and cannabis and got a weapon in their hand, you don’t know what is going to happen.”
'Shown to act recklessly and aggressively when drinking'
Recorder Fiona Ashworth said Arnfield had shown a ‘wilful’ disregard to previous community orders and the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.
Sentencing, she told the court: “I have no doubt whatsoever that if a non-custodial sentence was passed you would breach it because that is your history.
“It’s now your second offence for having an offensive weapon in a public place and so there are statutory minimums as to the sentencing.
“You drink too much and take illegal substances and that inevitably gets you into trouble. You had been drinking all day at the time of this offence.
“This is not the first time you’ve used weapons to threaten others and not the first time you’ve used drunkenness as an excuse for your offending.
“You have been shown to act recklessly and aggressively when drinking without any thought of the impact on others of this threatening behaviour.
"It strikes me that you have a chaotic lifestyle and do what you want, drink when you want, commit offences and have no intention of complying with any of the court orders that have been passed on you.”