A MAN produced a knife in Kendal town centre while behaving aggressively during an early morning altercation.

Reece McIntyre's offending emerged as two PCs investigated aggressive shouting and swearing at Blackhall Road close to the bus station at 7-45am on August 18.

"It was at that stage they saw a male later identified as being this defendant," prosecutor Julian Goode told Carlisle Crown Court. "He was shouting a two other people - a male and a female."

The woman initially shouted "help" before adding: "He has a knife."

A Taser's red dot was trained on the back of McIntyre, who tossed away the eight-inch steak knife - which had a four-inch blade - before being handcuffed. McIntyre, 24, later confessed to police: "I took the knife out with me not with the intention to harm anyone but to show him he had disrespected me."

An earlier altercation lay at the heart of the incident, the court heard.

McIntyre admitted illegal possession of a bladed article. Because he was previously convicted of possessing an offensive weapon in public, in 2015, he had faced a mandatory six-month jail term for repeat offending.

But after hearing of McIntyre's troubled background and recent positive progress while seeking to address substance misuse and mental health problems, Recorder Kevin Grice concluded that immediate prison would be unjust.

"This has been a wake-up call for him," said Colette Renton, defending, who revealed McIntyre was now receiving invaluable support from a friend.

"He would like to address his issues and present to this court that he is a person capable of rehabilitation."

Recorder Grice suspended an eight-month prison sentence for 18 months. McIntyre, of Stricklandgate, Kendal, must also complete a three-month night-time curfew and rehabilitation.

Recorder Grice told him that punishment was "not a soft option", adding: "You will know, as will anyone who attends these courts, the problem of knife crime, with people - often young men such as yourself - taking knives into public places and brandishing them.

"They may not intend to cause physical harm but this court well knows the risk that the taking of such an article into such circumstances presents because people get seriously injured or even killed."