Guild reveller swung punch at dignitary

The Closing ceremony for Preston Guild in Avenham Park
The Closing ceremony for Preston Guild in Avenham Park
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MAN carrying a knife swung a punch at a police chief superintendant during the closing party of Preston Guild Celebrations.

Around 15,000 people were enjoying the celebrations at the event in Avenham Park when a fight broke out between a group of men, including Rakeem Mohammed, 20.

Preston Crown Court heard the police chief superintendent was enjoying the celebrations in the VIP enclosure by the main stage, when he saw the scuffle between the men.

There were around 50 people in the direct area of the fight, including young children, who were moving away from the area “in fear”, the court heard.

As he stepped in to break the men up, Mohammed, of Lowthorpe Road, Deepdale, swung a punch at the officer, which did not connect.

Mohammed was arrested but when he was taken into custody a police officer turned his jacket upside down and a three inch lock knife fell from the pocket.

During interview, Mohammed told officers he carried the knife as he had been attacked a few months earlier and felt he needed protection.

He said: “I know its wrong but I see it as a way of surviving. “

He admitted a threatening behaviour and possession of the knife, which was not brandished.

Judge Ian Leeming, sentencing, said: “This happened at the closing ceremony and celebrations of Preston Guild - there won’t be similar for 20 years,.

“That was supposed to be, and was for the most part, a very pleasant evening, which involved a large num,ber of people - around 15,000 - ascending on Avenham Park.

“You accept by your plea that you had no lawful excuse for having (the knife) .

“You said you carried it because you were attacked and thought you needed it for protection.

“That is not much by way of mitigation.

“Lots of young people must know that they must not carry knives.

“You pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and you are remorseful. Your parents are supporting you.”

He handed Mohammed a one year community order and ruled he must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.