Magistrates have ‘praised the bravery’ of two police officers after handing a pickaxe-wielding thug a curfew.
PC Graham Hartley and PCSO James Southworth were called to Accrington town centre to find Keith Wood after he ‘went on a rampage’ with a pickaxe, smashing windows at The Mount NHS mental health clinic on Whalley Road and the Job Centre on Oak Street.
Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team were alerted at 10.50am on Friday, July 21 after terrified staff at The Mount called to report that a man had smashed a double-glazed window with an axe before walking off towards the town centre.
A short time later police were contacted by staff at the Job Centre who said he had smashed nine windows with a pickaxe, causing ‘real distress to both them and other members of the public’.
Wood was later found on Union Street and was arrested after a struggle with the officers.
Wood, 43, of Marlborough Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates Court to criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon.
He was given a nine-month community order at Blackburn Magistrates Court with an electronically monitored eight-week curfew requirement between 8pm and 6am.
Magistrates also ordered him to pay £300 compensation and confiscated the pickaxe.
Following the sentence, Hyndburn Police posted on their Facebook page that magistrates had praised the bravery of two of the neighbourhood policing team in Hyndburn.
A spokesperson said: “(They) were quickly on scene and saw the offender walking along Union Street near the roundabout still waving the pickaxe around.
“PC Hartley knew he had to take immediate action and decided to restrain the man in order to keep people safe.
“A struggle ensued with PC Hartley narrowly escaping serious head injuries.
“A 43-year-old man from Accrington was finally disarmed and subsequently arrested and charged. He appeared before Blackburn Magistrates and was convicted of criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.”