Police tasered knifeman as he headed towards bus queue
A binge drinker had to be tasered by police as he walked towards children and pensioners at a bus stop while carrying two knives.
Alcoholic Richard Oswin was already drunk at 11 am when he was seen walking through Teignmouth carrying the two weapons and with his hands stained by blood.
He carried on walking in a trance-like state as he was challenged by police, who used tasers to subdue him before he was arrested in Bitton Park Road on January 6 this year.
He had succeeded in remaining sober for several weeks at the end of last year but decided to have a drink on New Year’s Eve and slipped back into a 15 can a day lager habit.
A judge at Exeter Crown Court ordered him to have treatment for his alcohol abuse as he chose not to impose a jail sentence.
Oswin, aged 44, of Bank Street, Teignmouth, admitted three offences of possessing a knife in a public place and was ordered to attend a six-month alcohol treatment programme and 35 days of rehabilitation activities by Judge Peter Johnson, who ordered him to pay £420 costs.
He told him: ‘It is clear you had some problems with your mental health, which may have been affected by your consumption of alcohol, something which you have been battling with over a period of years.
‘You had succeeded in being abstinent until New Year’s Eve, after which you went to town in quite some way, and you have been drinking quite a lot since.’
Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said police received calls from alarmed members of the public who say a man with blood on his hands carrying two knives through the centre of Teignmouth shortly before 11am on January 6 this year.
Officers spotted Oswin, who had apparently injured himself, in Bitton Park Road and tried to stop him, but he ignored them and carried on walking towards a bus stop where a queue included pensioners and children.
He was no longer brandishing the knives but one was visible in his pocket and police decided it was dangerous to allow him to continue. They used tasers to stop him and found two knives and a key ring that included a smaller blade.
He later told them he armed himself for protection because he was about to visit a housing estate where he had been threatened in the past. He said he regretted carrying the knives but said ‘this is the way the world is going’.
Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Oswin has long-standing alcohol and mental health issues and was sectioned just days after his arrest. He is now working with the addiction service Together to reduce his intake.
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