A HATCHET was found hidden under a bush by a man who four days before had threatened another with a knife.

Darren Smith, 37, of Fox Close, Chipping Norton, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Friday (March 15) for one count of possession of a bladed article and one count of threatening another with a bladed article.

Sentencing him to 30 months imprisonment, Recorder Eleanor Sanderson said: “When you run towards him with a knife, he thought he was going to be stabbed or slashed.

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“It leaves no doubt in my mind that anyone would have feared the same. It was a shocking incident and would have been terrifying for him.

“These items you had are highly dangerous and cause death and misery.”

The court heard that on September 7 last year, Smith was walking in Chipping Norton when he came across a group of men where ‘there was a history of animosity’.

Smith was described as ‘hunching over’ and ‘looking intimidating’ before shortly pulling a knife from his waistband and raising it up.

He started running after the victim with the knife in his hand.

Police were called but Smith was not arrested at this time.

Four days later, shortly after midnight in Fox Close, Smith came across another group of men where an altercation was breaking out.

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Smith was seen to hide something under a nearby bush before police arrived and arrested several individuals – including Smith.

Police later recovered the item under the bush, a hatchet, after one of the other men had tipped them off.

Smith pleaded guilty to the possession of the hatchet count on the first day of his trial on March 11 and was found guilty of the second after the trial on March 12.

The court heard that he has 16 previous convictions for 29 offences.

Recorder Sanderson, while sentencing, said she took into account that Smith has been receiving mental health treatment for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has a ‘violent’ family background.

She also noted that he has a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that he has a ‘difficult time’ managing it.

For possession of the hatchet, Smith received a two-month prison sentence, reduced down from five months.

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He received a 28-month prison sentence for threatening another with a bladed article.

A forfeiture and destruction order was made by Recorder Sanderson for the hatchet recovered by police.

Smith will serve half his sentence in custody before being released on licence and any time he has spent in custody so far will count towards his sentence.