Kendal pub knife-man avoids jail after judge tells him: "You're too vulnerable for prison." (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kendal pub knife-man avoids jail after judge tells him: "You're too vulnerable for prison."
1:25pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A MAN who brandished a knife at drinkers outside a Kendal pub has walked free from court after a judge said he was ‘too vulnerable’ to be sent to jail.
Casper Capel, 42, admitted he ‘changed into a monster’ when he was drunk – but at Carlisle Crown Court Judge Peter Hughes QC said prison would do him more harm than good.
Capel, who used to live in Appleby but now lives in Sandes Avenue, Kendal, was seen waving a steak knife at people in the street near the White Hart pub.
He was arrested after a member of the public ran across the road and rugby tackled him to disarm him.
He had earlier also caused trouble after getting into an argument with people in the Wetherspoons pub, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said.
Capel, who was known to have psychological problems, told police he ‘felt like a failure’ after leaving the first pub, so when someone asked if he was having a good night he could not cope, Mr Rogerson said.
Capel said he had had only two drinks in the pub, but had got through two two-litre bottles of cider in his flat before going out, it was said.
He told police he had taken the knife with him ‘just for comfort’ but admitted that he was relieved he had not hurt anyone, Mr Rogerson said.
Capel pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour relating to his conduct at Wetherspoons and another of affray outside the White Hart.
He also admitted unlawfully carrying the knife in a public place.
In mitigation, barrister Greg Hoare said Capel had mental health problems but had been seeing a psychiatrist and had kept them under control.
“His problem is alcohol – as soon as drink enters the mix it is almost like a Jekyll and Hyde situation,” he said.
“All reason goes to the wind and he does absolutely outrageous things.”
Judge Hughes put Capel under probation supervision for three years and ordered him to attend an alcohol awareness course.
He also put him under a curfew to keep him indoors from 8pm to 6am for six months – and he warned that, despite his problems, if Capel committed any more offences he would have to go to prison.