A MAN who threatened another parent with a 12-inch hunting knife outside the gates of a West Norfolk Primary school was told he came within a “whisker” of going straight to jail.

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Shaun Davidson, 25, had been dropping off a child at Tilney All Saints primary school when he was involved in a dispute with another parent Ashley Thorpe, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said that Davidson went to his car and got out a 12-inch hunting knife and threatened Mr Thorpe saying that he had “gutted” better men than him.

Mr Eastwick said: “It happened outside a primary school and fortunately there were no children present.”

Davidson then got in his car and drove away at speed but was later stopped by police and the knife was recovered.

The court heard that Davidson, who was of previous good character, had not taken the knife from its sheath during the incident.

Davidson, of Glebe Estate, King’s Lynn, admitted possession of a bladed article on October 22, last year, and was given a 10-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

However, Recorder Louis Weston told him he had come within a “whisker of going straight to prison.”

He told Davidson it was a horrible offence and said: “You picked up a 12-inch hunting knife and said to Mr Thorpe I have taken bigger men than you, I have gutted better men than you.

“It was a terribly stupid thing to do and to do it in close proximity of a primary school where young children could have seen that dispute is a terribly aggravating feature of your offence.”

He accepted the knife had not come out if its sheath and he did no more than use it to frighten Mr Thorpe.

He warned Davidson: “I expect never to see you again. Don’t carry a knife like that again.”

He also ordered that Davidson complete 100 hours unpaid work and ordered the knife to be destroyed.

Neil Guest, for Davidson, said: “It was a moment of stupidity.”

He said he did not take the knife from its sheath and said: “He did not seek out any confrontation.”

Mr Guest said the offence happened in the dropping off area near the school and no children saw what happened.

“He is full of remorse,” he said.

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