Preston men were 'seen holding stone slab' in their hands in city centre

A second man has been sentenced in connection with an incident in which police found two men armed with a stone slab in a Preston street.

Samuel Jones, of Grosvenor Street, Avenham, Preston, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an offensive weapon during a hearing before Preston Magistrates’ Court.

The men were seen on Percy Street, Preston

The men were seen on Percy Street, Preston

He was given a six week electronically tagged curfew as part of a community order.

The court was told on October 2, police officers on patrol in the city centre heard noises coming from the back of a street close to Preston Bus Station.

They went to investigate and saw the 37-year-old defendant and another man coming out of an alleyway.

READ MORE: Preston man says he was carrying a stone slab for 'protection'

Each of the men were holding a piece of the grey slab in their hands.

When they were challenged, they both indicated the intention was to use them, or have the slabs with them, in case anything “happened with another man”, following an earlier incident.

The second man, Stephen Norrie, of Avenham Terrace, Avenham, Preston, was dealt with during an earlier hearing before the same court. Norrie had also pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

The 28-year-old also told the authorities it was for his protection.

Like his co-defendant he also received a six week curfew.

Both men were ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 towards their costs.

The Crown Prosecution Service says the offence of carrying weapons is serious as it encourages violence and can cause serious injury and death.

Bricks or slabs have been used in several crimes in Preston this year.

On Bonfire Night, three people were arrested in Ribbleton after police officers were injured during a street attack in which yobs hurled bricks at a police vehicle.

In March vandals hurled stones at an ambulance travelling along the A095 in the city to take a patient in a life-threatening condition to hospital, and a husband who threw a brick through a window of his Chorley home, striking his wife, was given a 12-month community order.

READ MORE: Youths throw stones at ambulance in Preston during emergency trip

A brick was hurled through the window of an Iqra Islamic education centre at Madrassa-tul-madina in Garstang Road in Preston in a suspected hate attack.

And in May a 36-year-old was cautioned after a brick was thrown at Tommy Robinson’s campaign van during a speech in Ashton Park.