Man lashed out with knife in Liverpool city centre

A man who lashed out with a knife during a night out in Liverpool city centre has been spared jail.

Jack Codling was approached by two men while on a night out on Saturday, February 1 last year.

Liverpool Crown Court watched CCTV footage of the 29-year-old running onto Davies Street – a small side street off Dale Street – with the two men behind him.

The footage showed one man punch Codling, who then brandishes a Stanley knife, lashing out and leaving one of the men with a 'scratch' on his face.

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Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, explained that the two men seen in the video had not been identified.

The judge, Recorder Timothy Hannam, QC, commented that one of the men had "seemed to have been slashed across the face" to which Mr Blasbery replied "we have evidence it was effectively a scratch".

Codling has one unrelated previous conviction for criminal damage, the court heard.

Stuart Mills, defending, explained that Codling had pleaded guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity.

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He said: "Mr Codling tells me he had been working with the knife earlier in the day at his grandfather's house but he accepts by his plea that is no good reason for having it with him."

Mr Mills explained he didn't know why he was punched but suspects the men saw him in possession of £50 notes, which had been given to him by his father.

He said: "He thinks having seen that it attracted their attention."

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Mr Mills explained it was Codling who was followed adding he was "extremely foolish in producing that knife".

He said Codling has a "stable lifestyle" and has a partner of nine years who supported him in court.

Mr Mills said he left school with a "variety of qualifications" and had a contract with Southport Football Club before leaving to undertake full time employment.

He explained that Codling had never been out of stable employment and cares for his grandfather.

Davies Street, off Dale Street

Mr Mills said that Codling has no issues with drugs or alcohol but had been drinking on this occasion and noted that there had been a delay in bringing the case to court.

Codling admitted possession of a knife on Davies Street in Liverpool city centre.

Recorder Hannam, sentencing, said: "You were attacked first but you had gone out that night with a potentially lethal weapon, a folding Stanley knife."

The judge noted Codling's previous conviction and added there is "real mitigation" in the pre sentence report and in character references.

Recorder Hannam said: "I accept you have worked throughout your entire adult life. You're a hard worker."

The judge said: "It's plain you come from a decent, hard working supportive family."

Recorder Hannam said he accepted that Codling's remorse was genuine and noted there is a "realistic prospect of rehabilitation".

The judge said: "I have decided the sentence doesn't have to be served immediately and I can suspend it with conditions."

Coding was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He must also complete 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirements and pay £500 towards prosecution costs.