Man armed with knives was 'bouncing around like a boxer who has just got into a ring' outside Grimsby Asda store

The incident happened outside the Asda store in Holles Street, Grimsby
-Credit: (Image: GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford)


A man armed with two knives was captured on CCTV outside Asda in Grimsby "bouncing around like a boxer who has just got into a ring", a court heard.

David Sweeny, 56, of Tivoli Gardens, Grimsby, kicked a man from behind as he stood at a cashpoint outside the Holles Street store at 12.25am on November 1 last year. He kicked his "friend" in the face during the scuffle.

At Grimsby Crown Court, Sweeny admitted threatening and abusive behaviour and possession of a knife. He also admitted failing to surrender to court for a trial scheduled at Grimsby Magistrates' Court.

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He was committed to Grimsby Crown Court for sentence, where prosecutor Samantha Laws played CCTV from the store cameras on Holles Street.

It showed Sweeny walking up to the man at the cashpoint and kicking him from behind, then squaring up to him with his fists raised.

In court Judge Richard Woolfall said: "You were bouncing around like a boxer who has just got into a ring. You kicked him from behind and you started scuffling. He got the better of you and subdued you."

The CCTV showed the two men grappling on the ground, before Sweeny unzipped his jacket pocket and pulled out a knife. It was revealed it was an 80-year-old pipe scraper., which had belonged to his grandfather. There was another knife which was dropped and later retrieved by Sweeny in the attack.

Miss Laws said the violence stopped when a passer-by and an Asda security guard intervened. Both men left the scene.

Police later attended at Sweeny's address and found him with the victim, as they shared the address. Police officers recovered the knife.

In interview, Sweeny told police he carried the knife around with him because he "did not want to leave it lying around for smackheads".

He claimed he had taken the knife to frighten the other man because he had demanded £50 from Sweeny and said he would take it from him if he did not hand over the money. Miss Laws said the defendant had 24 convictions for 32 offences. She said the complainant did not want to make a complaint.

For Sweeny, Craig Lowe said: "It is two friends fighting. There is no complaint. They were separated without difficulty."

Mr Lowe said his client was badly beaten with a hammer in a robbery 12 years ago and still suffers from fits and seizures. The defence barrister said his client feared he was being choked in the fight, so produced the knife to scare his victim. He said he was "sick of being bullied".

He added the friends had later reconciled and both were at the address when police arrived. He said his client suffers from deep vein thrombosis and did not take drugs or alcohol.

Judge Woolfall told Sweeny: "You were the one who started it." He said the passer-by and Asda security guard "arrived at the right time".

"When someone produces a knife in such a violent incident, people get stabbed. It destroys the lives of so many families. Producing a knife in these circumstances means custody," the judge said. He added that he acknowledged there was an element of provocation. He jailed Sweeny for a total of 12 months.