Rugby man who said children lied jailed for knife threat - The Rugby Observer
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13th Aug, 2022

Rugby man who said children lied jailed for knife threat

Rugby Editorial 6th May, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

A MAN who punched his wife in front of their children and then threatened her with a carving knife only stopped when police arrived after being called by one of his children.

Rugby man Alan Pickford claimed his children were lying and denied offences of common assault and making threats to kill.

But the 42-year-old, now of Berkley Close, Bentley, in Walsall, changed his pleas on the day of his trial and was jailed for three years by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

Prosecutor Nicholas Burn said that Pickford had been in a relationship with his wife Avril for many years and lived with her and six children.

In May 2013 she was at the family home in Rugby when she heard Pickford shouting at one of the children, who were aged between four and 13 years old.

When she intervened he became angry and punched her on the side of her head in front of them.

He then picked up a carving knife and stood over her with it raised above his head, threatening to kill her.

Pickford brought the knife down, stopping with the knife just a foot from her chest as he heard the sirens of a police car outside, the court heard.

He had pulled the phone wires out of the socket but one of the children had called the police on his mobile phone.

The court heard that Pickford had a number of previous convictions.

Matthew Brook, defending, said at the time it was accepted that Pickford, who has a history of schizophrenia and was not taking his medication, was mentally unwell, because following his arrest he was taken to psychiatric hospital and kept in for 28 days.

Jailing Pickford, and making a restraining order banning Pickford from contacting his wife and children or entering Rugby, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “Violent offences are always more serious when they are in a domestic context. It is made much more serious when young children are around and witness events.

“It is fortunate one of the children had the presence of mind to call the police, because you only stopped when you heard the police siren.

“You denied this, and there was to be a trial in which your children were going to be branded liars.”

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