Funeral wake ends in affray

Crown Court
Crown Court
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A mourner who was attacked with a knife in his flat after a funeral wake ended up being arrested himself for affray.

Mark Falconer, 43, of Birkdale Drive, Ashton-On-Ribble, Preston, invited guests back to his home after his friend’s daughter’s funeral on August 11.

But in the early hours of August 12 police were called to a disturbance, Preston Crown Court was told.

An officer who was first at the scene heard “raised voices” and someone shouting: “Get off her.”

He saw three women rolling around on the floor fighting and two in an apparent fight with the defendant.

Two other officers then saw a large serrated eight inch kitchen knife in Falconer’s hand.

When he refused to drop it, one of the officers - fearing for people’s safety - punched him.

But his defence lawyer William Beardmore revealed Falconer had himself been attacked with the blade moments earlier and had taken it off his attacker.

He said: “ The offence is in fact one that was very short lived and posed no danger to the officers involved. The defendant was not out looking for trouble that night nor was he being volatile.

“Things became violent and got out of hand and that was not the defendant’s fault and nor was he part of that.

“He tried to intervene and in the course of doing so was attacked by a man who had taken the kitchen knife from the defendant’s drawer and he had injuries consistent with being attacked by the knife.

“He accepts he was intoxicated. He was somewhat shocked and agitated. He accepts when police came into the property he didn’t react appropriately or quickly enough but had never intended to cause anyone any harm.

Suspending his 10 month jail term for 18 months, and imposing 100 hours unpaid work, Recorder David Potter said: “At 1am a disturbance broke out. There is no certainty as to who started it but there was a large scale scene of public disorder in your flat and police were called.

“That knife in your hands that night, in the state you were in, did indeed pose a considerable risk of use or threat of violence.”