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Man admits carrying knife through market place

PUBLISHED: 10:23 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 08 July 2010

A man who carried a knife through Swaffham marketplace because he feared for his life was given a conditional discharge by Thetford magistrates yesterday.

A MAN who carried a knife through Swaffham marketplace because he feared for his life was given a conditional discharge by Thetford magistrates on Thursday .

Richard Skudra, 33, from Glebe Close, in Thetford, pleaded guilty to carrying an offensive weapon in September this year. The court heard how Skudra approached two women in the early hours of the morning and asked them to call the police for him. It transpired he was carrying a black-handled kitchen knife, but Alison MacManus, mitigating said he had not brandished the weapon or threatened anybody.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, said Skudra had asked the women to tell the police he needed to be picked up because he was worried for his safety.

Mr Warner said: “The police attended and he was sitting compliantly on a bench when they arrived. He said he had the knife with him for protection.

“He was arrested and during the interview, under caution, he said he took the knife out to protect himself and said he wanted help.”

Skudra, originally from Latvia, was on licence at the time of the incident, having been sentenced for burglary earlier this year and as a result was remanded in custody for eight weeks. Miss MacManus added that this should be taken into account when sentencing him.

She said Skudra had heard some neighbours talking about “Richard” and how he was due to be killed.

She added: “He approached the first two females he came across. Clearly they weren't in fear and didn't feel threatened and were very valuable in conveying information between Skudra and the police.”

Skudra was given an 18-month conditional discharge.

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