A man with previous for knife crime was arrested with a ‘Zombie’ knife in a sheath beneath his coat.

Josh Abbott, 26, was caught just four months after he was sentenced for a catalogue of offences including weapons possession.

Oxford Crown Court heard he was among a group of men in a car stopped by police in Great Western Drive, Didcot, in the early hours of July 4, 2020.

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When he was searched, Abbott had a ‘Zombie’ knife in a sheath across his chest.

The knife was serrated on both sides. Prosecutor Cathy Olliver described it as an ‘unpleasant-looking knife’.

Officers suspected the men in the car were involved in an earlier incident in Didcot. Extensive enquiries were carried out, but no charges were brought in connection with that incident.

Abbott, now of HMP Bullingdon, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of a bladed article. Despite his youth, he had 23 convictions for 68 offences and was currently a serving prisoner.

Dana Bilan, mitigating, said her client had a ‘troubled upbringing’. His offending was not linked to getting involved in the ‘wrong crowd’, but rather ‘dealing with his own issues’.

Sentencing him to eight months’ imprisonment, Judge Nigel Daly said: “You are on recall. You are not going to get released until next August and realistically speaking the sentence I am going to pass in relation to this offence isn’t going to add to the period you are presently spending in custody.

“But what disturbs me about you is that you have got a huge number of convictions to your name already and you’re 26.

“This offence was committed whilst you were the subject of a criminal behaviour order and only a matter of a few months after you had been given a sentence of imprisonment for a number of offences which involve possession of a knife in a public place – and you went and did it again.”

He said of the Zombie knife: “They serve no purpose whatsoever. They’re just ridiculous-looking knives.

“I suppose if you did actually stab somebody with it, it could do a significant amount of damage. But, quite honestly, what you were doing with it I don’t know.”

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In March 2020, Oxford Crown Court heard that Abbott launched a ‘bizarre’ attack on a paperboy, the boy’s father and a mum who was holding her baby. He also ‘punched a chip shop’  during the violent rampage in December 2018.

While on a deferred sentence for the attack, he threatened members of the public in two separate incidents in Didcot. They included threatening to stab a woman and her two children.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward