Drunken Dad's bizarre series of random middle-of-the-night Holderness Road confrontations

-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)
-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)

A drunken young father armed himself with an eight-inch knife before aggressively threatening and menacing a series of shocked people in the early hours while his "brain was addled with alcohol".

Ben Thomson left the victims, most of them women, terrified when he suddenly approached complete strangers during a bizarre series of nasty and totally random confrontations. He demanded money from one woman at a cash point machine and approached others while they were waiting in cars to buy takeaway food from McDonald's.

He committed a "whole swathe of very violent acts" – one after another starting at about 1.30am, Hull Crown Court heard. Thomson, 23, of Mersey Street, off Holderness Road, east Hull, admitted two offences of attempted robbery and others of assault with intent to rob, affray and having a knife in public on April 2 last year.


Michael Masson, prosecuting, said that a woman was at a cash point machine in Holderness Road between 1.30 and 1.30am to withdraw money to pay for a taxi. Thomson approached her and he asked her to withdraw £250.

"She refused in forthright terms and told him to 'f*** off'," said Mr Masson. Thomson reached across her but she batted his hand away and he told her "fair dos". She did not remember seeing a knife but Thomson might have been "fiddling with" a knife in his waistband.

In a second incident at 2.05am, a man and his girlfriend were in a car in the car park of McDonald's on Holderness Road when Thomson started circling the car. He tried to open the passenger door.

The woman immediately shouted at her boyfriend to drive away but they both saw that Thomson had a knife with what they thought was a nine-inch blade. Both were left shaken and pulled over to alert the police.

In a third incident, a woman was on her way home from bingo at 2.22am when Thomson threatened her in Holderness Road. He told her "Come here" and demanded her bank card.

"He continued to ask for her card," said Mr Masson. "She refused to give it to him. She says that he took out a large knife and pointed it towards her.

"She felt threatened and scared and ran away from the man. She thought that he was going to rape her."

A fourth incident took place at McDonald's in Holderness Road when two women went to a window in a car to order food. Thomson, who was covering his face, looked at one of them and pulled out what looked to be a kitchen knife with a seven-inch blade.

"He pointed this in her direction without saying anything," said Mr Masson. "This caused her to be in fear. She went to the next window and told staff about the man before leaving without getting any food."

They parked near Heron Foods when Thomson walked past smirking and lunged in what the woman thought was an attempt to open the car door. They drove away and later saw Thomson being arrested in Holderness Road.

He had what police described as a black-handled, eight-inch kitchen knife on him. During police interview, he confirmed that he had a knife down his trousers but he claimed that he did not remember the incidents at all.

He was shocked watching CCTV footage and it upset him. He had, earlier that evening, been out for his girlfriend's stepmother's birthday at the Inglemire Club and drank vodka, numerous beers, Guinness and shots.

They went home by taxi but he argued with his girlfriend and he was in an agitated state. He said that he grabbed a kitchen knife and must have left and gone to Holderness Road.

Thomson asked police if he could personally apologise to the victims. "Perhaps surprisingly, he has absolutely no previous convictions whatsoever," said Mr Masson.

Benjamin Donnell, mitigating, said that Thomson committed a "whole swathe of very violent acts" while his "brain was addled with alcohol". He had shown a high degree of remorse for the harm that he had caused the victims. "It's very clear that he was shaken himself about what he did," said Mr Donnell.

"He, of course, had no recollection of what he did. It clearly shook him up and he knew that he needed to apologise. He offered to write letters and still would do so if the victims were willing to accept them.

"He made significant admissions in his police station interview. He was in drink. He had come home. They had argued. He left with that knife. It's a mystery what led him to commit these offences.

"It's scary to him that he is capable of doing something like this. He has abstained from alcohol." Thomson had recently been working full-time at a timber merchants. He had a three-year-old son and a 10-year-old stepdaughter.

Thomson was jailed for five years.