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Swift justice for man who waved knife in McDonalds
8:20am Monday 29th October 2012 in Echo News
A MAN who terrified diners at McDonalds by waving a knife around received some swift justice....and was jailed within 21 hours.
Paul Gardner felt the long arm of the law following his shocking behaviour at the branch at the top of Southend High Street.
He had taken the kitchen knife into the fast-food outlet at 2.30pm on Wednesday where he presented it to a manager.
But by 11.30pm the following morning he must have regretted his actions, as he was jailed for nine months.
He said: “It’s excellent this has been processed so quickly. Swift justice is better justice and better to see someone behind bars so quickly, so protecting the community, than taking weeks if not months to process.”
Gardner, who gave his address as the Homeless Action Resource Project, in Valkyrie Road, Westcliff, pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a blade in a public place.
Prosecutor Ian Allen said a member of staff had seen him holding the knife in his hand.
He said: “She described him as waving it. Understandably she told him to put it down, which he did.”
Bizarrely, he then asked her for some bags because his own bag was broken.
She gave him the bags and then followed him out of the store where she flagged down PC Martin Knights to make an arrest.
It later emerged that the kitchen knife from Wilkinson’s, in the Victoria, earlier that morning along with items meant as birthday presents for his neice.
George Lewsey, mitigating, said his client was an alcoholic and wsa drunk at the time, but that he had never threatened anyone with the knife.
The court heard he had been given a suspended sentence for shop theft just nine days before this crime. This was activated and he was jailed for nine months.