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Man jailed after knife terror in village

52-year-old brandished a seven-inch blade in public

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

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A LAMBOURN man, “known to everyone in the village”, is behind bars for brandishing a knife in Market Square.

Stefan Paul Little, 52, briefly disappeared following an altercation with another local, Chris Fidler, before returning with a seven-inch blade.

He then said: “Now have a go. Let’s ******* have it,” a judge was told.

Mr Fidler later told police his legs were shaking as he believed Little was going to stab him.

Harper Marshall, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court on Thursday, January 3, said the incident happened in daylight, during the afternoon of September 12 last year.

She added: “Mr Fidler was waiting near the church for a friend when he heard the defendant shouting at a girl.

“He recognised the defendant, having known him for 25 years, and realised he knew the girl as well.

“When the shouting continued, Mr Fidler engaged with the defendant in an argument.”

Little swore at Mr Fidler, the court heard, and left the scene – but not for long.

Ms Marshall said: “He returned with a black-handled knife with a seven-inch blade.”

After challenging Mr Fidler to “now have a go,” the court heard, he followed him with the knife as he backed away, “making jolting motions”.

Ms Marshall added: “Mr Fidler later said his knees were shaking as he believed the defendant would stab him.”

Little, who formerly lived in Derby Close, Lambourn, but who had recently been living rough in woods, then walked off and threw the knife on to the “flat roof of a local bar”, said Ms Marshall.

The knife scene was witnessed by Joanne Shedler, who works for a local estate agent, the judge was told, and also by others.

Little admitted possessing a knife, although the judge, Sarah Campbell, remarked: “I observe he is only charged with a simple possession offence, not [the more serious charge of] threatening someone with a bladed article which might, on one view, have been more appropriate in this case.”

Little also has 21 previous convictions for offences including battery, dishonesty and motoring offences, the court heard.

Jim Osborne, defending, said that, despite his client’s formal admission to the full facts, he still did not accept he had threatened anyone.

He added: “Mr Little is a homeless man and lives in local woods.

“Everyone knows him in Lambourn; he is a well-known character in the area.

“He went to get the knife so he could eat some food he had collected from the food bank.”

Mr Osborne said Ms Shedler had only seen his client holding the knife against his sleeve and had not witnessed him brandishing it.

He pleaded with Judge Campbell to suspend any sentence of imprisonment.

But she told Little: “This has clearly passed the custody threshold.

“This was a seven-inch blade – I’ve seen it – and you had it in public.

“The incident took 45 minutes and would have caused alarm or distress to members of the public who witnessed it.

“An aggravating factor is your previous convictions.”

She sentenced Little to four months imprisonment, half of which will be served in jail and the remainder on licence in the community.

In addition, she ordered the knife to be destroyed and imposed a statutory victim services surcharge of £115.

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