Northampton

Burton Latimer 'Axe Man' sentenced after machete threat

A 70-year-old known locally as "the Axe Man" has been given a suspended prison sentence after threatening to stab someone with a machete.

Ian Loak, from Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, threatened a 22-year-old man who had been making fun of him.

Northampton Crown Court heard Loak had been "very drunk" when he made the threat. He later began to hit a wooden fence with the Gurkha machete.

Loak pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years.

Violent offences

Northamptonshire Police had received reports of a man standing in a street with a weapon at 19:20 BST on 21 July.

Police were called to the scene and arrested Loak. They found a knife in his pocket and a search of his home uncovered the machete.

At various times in the case the prosecution referred to the weapon as a "machete" and a "Gurkha Kukri" knife.

The prosecution said Loak had a number of previous convictions for violent offences, the last of which dated back to 1998.

The court heard he had been convicted of a "very serious offence" in 1987, which earned him the nickname of "the Axe Man".

Judge Lynn Tayton asked if the prosecution had any more details of this offence, but was told they did not.

The court heard Loak had suffered a stroke which had "changed his personality".

Judge Tayton told Loak: "If you do anything like this again and despite your age, despite your ill health you will go to prison."

She also ordered Loak to keep to a curfew between 07:00 and 19:00 for the next six months.