Man pulled knife out on tourists

James Norton, of Grove Street, Leamington, pleaded guilty to common assault and possessing a bladed article in a public place. NNL-160815-104101001
James Norton, of Grove Street, Leamington, pleaded guilty to common assault and possessing a bladed article in a public place. NNL-160815-104101001

A man who was so drunk he was ‘bouncing off walls and parked vehicles’ as he staggered through Leamington, pulled out a knife when he confronted a group of young tourists.

James Norton, 27, of Grove Street, Leamington, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of common assault and possessing a bladed article in a public place.

This was Norton’s second conviction for having a knife in a public place, which would normally lead to a minimum of six months in prison.

But the judge deferred the sentence to allow Norton to take part in a programme to address his drink problems, which was part of a previous suspended sentence for shoplifting.

Prosecutor Gwen Williamson said CCTV footage from Leamington town centre on June 14 showed Norton being frogmarched out of a pub and being loud and abusive to security staff, before bouncing off walls and cars and urinating in a doorway.

After shouting at a woman in a parked car, he confronted a group of tourists, following them down the road, and pulled out a lock knife while continuing his tirade against one of them.

Police were called. The knife was still locked open in Norton’s pocket when they arrived.

Miss Williamson said at the time, Norton was in breach of a conditional discharge for shoplifting, and since the incident has been given a 12-week suspended sentence for another shoplifting offence.

Marc Davies, defending, said Norton had not yet had time to engage with the programme, and a pre-sentence report suggested deferring the sentence to give him time to do so.

Deferring sentence for six months, Recorder Gareth Evans told Norton: “You’re someone who constantly goes out and gets drunk and causes problems for people on the streets.

“Under no circumstances must you ever carry a knife again, because if you do and you are brought back before the court, you’d better bring your toothbrush.

“This is a way of putting you on your best behaviour.”