A 23-year-old man from Banbury has been given a conditional discharge following an incident in which armed police were deployed.
James McDowell, of West Street, appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday and pleaded guilty to using threatening words and behaviour likely to cause alarm after the incident on July 9.
Armed police were deployed to West Street and a police containment was put in place following reports of a man carrying a sword through the streets.
At the court hearing, Clare Barclay, prosecuting, told the court that at about 8.20pm a member of the public was walking along the road when she heard a male shouting and swearing.
She said: “She was walking on the opposite side of the road to him, and saw he was carrying a sword sheath.
“There was a woman in a parked car near where the man was, and she was clearly distressed as he was swearing very loudly. The lady saw him walk into a house and she then called the police.”
The court was also told McDowell was interviewed by police and told officers that he was in the street shouting and swearing and, although there was no sword in the sheath, he told officers that ‘he must have looked like a madman’.
Representing himself at court, McDowell told magistrates how the incident had been sparked following a confrontation on the phone with his ex-partner.
He said: “I was due to see my young daughter on her birthday, but my ex-partner phoned me up and told me I couldn’t.
“She doesn’t live locally and I just threw my toys out of the pram.
“Obviously this was a very rash and stupid thing that I did. I was really distressed by it all and did not mean to cause any distress to anyone else but myself. I am young and this is a learning curve for me.”
John Kearsey, chairman of the bench, gave McDowell a 12-month conditional discharge for the offence, and ordered him to pay £55 costs.