BREAKING KENT

Man who threatened staff with steak knives is jailed

Herne Bay man who used a handful of steak knives to threaten to kill pub staff in an unprovoked attack, has been jailed for over two years.

John Hazelgrove entered the kitchen of the Wetherspoons pub in Central Parade, Herne Bay, during the evening of Wednesday 15 August 2018, where two members of staff were working.

They noticed he was drunk, and when one of them asked him to leave, 24-year-old Hazelgrove became aggressive towards them.

One of the victims was able to leave the kitchen as Hazelgrove picked up and threw a basket from a chip pan fryer and threw it at a door, smashing its glass panel.

In a rage, Hazelgrove screamed at the remaining victim to get his colleague back, pushing him against the kitchen counter, and grabbing a handful of steak knives. Pointing the knives at the victim’s throat and stomach, Hazelgrove told him: ‘Get him down here or I’ll kill you.’

His actions were seen by a third member of staff who was threatened during the incident, but was able to raise the alarm with the duty manager.

Hazelgrove left the pub shortly after and he was found by police in the nearby memorial gardens still carrying one of the steak knives, and arrested.

At Canterbury Crown Court on 14 January 2019 Hazelgrove, of Rowland Drive, Herne Bay initially denied the charges but then pleaded guilty to affray, making threats to kill and having a bladed article.

He was sentenced on Monday 18 February 2019 at Canterbury Crown Court to 30 months in prison.

Investigating officer PC Bradley Geear said: ‘Hazelgrove continually denied his involvement in this incident despite the evidence against him. He showed no remorse for his actions and waited until the last possible minute to change his plea to guilty.

‘The effect of his actions on the victims is not to be underestimated, and it has left them having to deal with the mental scars for years to come.

‘I am glad the courts have reflected the serious nature of the offence in their sentencing and hope that Hazelgrove will now use this time to reflect on his actions.

‘Kent Police are committed to dealing with serious violence and will always seek to bring offenders to justice.’