A knifeman chased after one man then returned to threaten his friend, a court heard.

Jake Parsons, 27, was jailed for 20 months at Oxford Crown Court for the incident on January 7, after a judge labelled his record of previous convictions as ‘shocking’.

The knifeman, who was sent to prison seven years ago for armed robbery, had spent the day drinking.

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After an argument that evening, he stormed out of his mum’s house in Abingdon – taking a seven to eight-inch kitchen knife with him.

He headed towards two young men in the town centre and began threatening them with the blade.

One of the two men ran away and, although Parsons chased after him, managed to get away.

The knifeman returned to threaten the second man with the knife.

Police arrived, having been called by Parsons’ mother. After a short chase, he was arrested and the knife recovered.

There was some question over whether Parsons was out of prison on post-release licence at the time, having been given more than six years’ imprisonment in 2015 for armed robbery.

The defendant, who has been in custody since his arrest in January, had been due to stand trial this week on allegations he robbed one of the men of £20.

But after Parsons, of Manor Road, Wantage, pleaded to making threats with a knife, the prosecution said it no longer sought a trial on the robbery charge.

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Sentencing him to 20 months' imprisonment, Judge Ian Pringle QC said: “I have seen a picture of that [knife]. It is certainly not a knife that should be taken out into the street but out into the street you went.”

He added: “You have a truly shocking history of previous convictions, many of which are assault and battery and indeed back in 2015 going around with a gun – not a knife – and committing an offence of robbery.

“It is debatable whether you were on licence at the time this offence was committed.”

He noted that Parsons had been under the influence of alcohol when he threatened the men.

Mitigating, Parsons’ barrister said there had been a ‘number of green shoots’ in his client’s life.

The first was that he had been seen by a psychiatrist. “That is the first time Mr Parsons has had any form of psychiatric evaluation.” He said it offered an ‘opportunity’ for him to receive treatment for his mental health.

He had also obtained employment as a scaffolder.

Sentencing, Judge Pringle said: “I hope, having had your first ever psychiatric assessment and having obtained employment albeit for a short period of time when you were last released, those green shoots can be worked upon when you are released from this sentence.”

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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