A man who threatened market workers with a 12-inch kitchen knife during a terrifying ordeal has been spared jail.
While brandishing the blade, Giuliano Mazzolin told shocked staff at Accrington Market Hall that he would ‘take them on one at a time’, a court heard.
Approaching two market porters he was heard to say: ‘I’m going to stick it up two, one by one’.
The hearing was told that Mazzolin, 59, was suffering from a mental illness at the time and had ‘heard voices’ telling him to kill people.
Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC said Mazzolin’s actions that day must have been very frightening for market hall staff.
He said: “Those people who were helping out in the market would not have known about your personal circumstances and that you were suffering from a mental illness at the time.
“They would have been very frightened by the ugly confrontation of you producing a knife and threatening them as you did.
“That was a very frightening confrontation.
Both of those men justifiably would have been very alarmed.”
Prosecutor Gavin Howie told Burnley Crown Court that Mazzolin approached the two porters at the market hall at 4.35pm, on April 9 this year.
He said the victims saw a man brandishing a 12-inch kitchen knife approaching them and threatening: ‘I’m going to stick it up two, one by one’.
He stopped a few metres from them and offered to take them on ‘one at a time’, leaving the porters ‘shocked and stunned’, Mr Howie said. When the defendant left, the porters reported the incident to a police officer who went to Mazzolin’s home and arrested him immediately when he saw a knife tucked into his waistband, the court heard.
The defendant claimed he had heard voices telling him to kill people and said he would harm people if he didn’t receive any help, the judge was told.
When interviewed by police, he said he had mental health issues and accepted people would have been scared by his actions.
Mazzolin, of Slaidburn Drive, Accrington, pleaded guilty to having a bladed article in a public place and a section four public order offence.
He was handed a fourmonth prison sentence suspended for 18 months, with a four-month supervision order. Recorder Clarke QC said he took into account the problems Mazzolin was suffering from at the time.
David Ryan, defending, said Mazzolin was suffering from mental health problems but has since received treatment from the community mental health team.
He said Mazzolin is currently living on benefits, meaning he was unable to offer compensation.