Hammer brandished in pub, court hears

A BOOZY man brandished a hammer in a pub after the landlady tried to calm down a bust-up, a court has heard.

The incident started when a regular at the Clock Inn, Market Street, South Normanton, bumped into a table where Paul Birks, 41, was sitting.

It led to a confrontation and the landlady stepped in to separate the pair, Chesterfield magistrates have been told.

“He produced a hammer from the back pocket of his trousers and was waving it around wildly,” Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, told the court.

Mrs Griffiths said: “She feared for her safety and her husband, the landlord, wrestled it off him and removed him from the premises.”

She said about 50 people were in the pub and beer garden at the time of the September 10 offence.

Birks, from Huthwaite, was arrested and told police he normally kept the hammer in a tool box on his bicycle, which was parked outside the pub, and he did not know why it was in his pocket.

Birks, of Colliery Houses, Mill Lane, admitted possessing an offensive weapon and using threatening behaviour.

Magistrates committed him to be sentenced by a judge at Derby Crown Court on November 4, saying the offence must have put “the fear of God” into some of those present in the pub that night.

Magistrates ordered that the Probation Service prepare reports on Birks, and he was warned by JPs that he could be locked up for the offences. Birks told the court: “I’m deeply embarrassed. I’ve kept out of trouble for a long time and it was out of character.”

He said he did not have a drink problem, adding: “It was just a one-off. I drank too much and lost control.”

Birks was granted bail on condition he stayed out of licensed premises.