Staff scared as man seen with knife at leisure centre and pub

A file picture of the Nova Centre in Prestatyn
-Credit: (Image: David Powell)

A "paranoid" man who thought people were following him took a knife to a leisure centre and pub. Hagan Swann hid the weapon in a flower bed but staff had alerted police.

Officers arrived and the 35-year-old was arrested. He admitted possession of a bladed article and a judge at Caernarfon Crown Court gave him a suspended jail sentence.

Prosecutor Catherine Elvin described how staff at the Nova leisure centre in Prestatyn called police at 9pm one evening last July. A man was in a panic and alleging people were following him and wanted to “batter” him.

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The man, who was Swann, had a knife in his back pocket but left the centre soon afterwards. Then police got another call from a woman at nearby Central Beach Club pub a few hundred yards away.

Swann had been seen with a knife and was waiting for a taxi, said Ms Elvin. Staff were scared but officers arrived and managed to stop him although by that point he no longer had the blade.

A wooden-handled steak knife was found nearby in a flower bed. Sarah Yates, defending, said her client had kept the knife in his back pocket "for the majority of the time" before dumping it in the flower bed.

He suffers from bipolar disorder and his mental health had been "in decline" at the time of the offence, she said. There had been "an element of paranoia" as he suggested "people were after him".

The court heard Swann has an unenviable criminal record and has had drink and drug problems for many years. But being on remand in custody has helped the former windfarm worker break the cycle.

He is in contact with a mental health team and "at the age of 35 he wants to grow up and become more of a role model for his children," said Ms Yates.

The court also heard Swann, of Marine Road, Pensarn, Abergele, was in 2020 given a restraining order for assaulting an ex-partner causing actual bodily harm but breached it twice. The five-year order prohibited him from contacting her. But at 5.45am on March 12 this year he went to her home intoxicated and with a “plank of wood or bar” over his shoulder and she warned him she would ring police.

A week later, on March 19, he came back and said: “Kids, come and get your Easter eggs before your dad’s dead.” The woman again warned him about the police and “edged him out” of her home.

In a statement the woman said she feels unsafe at home and is “always looking over her shoulder”. The situation has exacerbated her mental health issues.

The judge gave Swann a 12-month jail term for possession of a bladed article in a public place suspended for 18 months. He must do 35 sessions of a programme requirement, 15 days of rehabilitation activity, and attend a six-month drug rehabilitation programme.

He also received a consecutive six-month jail term for breaching a restraining order but this was also suspended for 18 months. The restraining order was extended to four more years rather than expiring next year.

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