Wanted man spotted by police in Hull quickly admitted he had meat cleaver in his trousers

John Puckering admitted possessing a blade and breaching an eight-month suspended prison sentence
-Credit: (Image: Humberside Police)

A wanted serial criminal landed himself in trouble after police suddenly spotted him in the street – and he sheepishly volunteered that he had a meat cleaver tucked in his trousers.

John Puckering soon realised that he was in a serious mess and so he quickly decided to hand over the meat cleaver, Hull Crown Court heard.

Puckering, 39, of Spring Bank, Hull, admitted possessing a blade on December 7 and breaching an eight-month suspended prison sentence.


Harry Bradford, prosecuting, said that, at 1pm, police spotted Puckering being pushed in a wheelchair on Spring Bank. He was, at the time, wanted by the police over a separate incident.

He was arrested for that matter and he told police: "I might as well give you this, then, as you will find it."

He pulled a meat cleaver out of his waistband and handed it over to the police. During police interview, he made no comment to all questions.

Puckering had convictions for 99 previous offences, including one for possessing a knife or blade in public on December 1, 2022. He had been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

Cathy Kioko-Gilligan, mitigating, said that Puckering pleaded guilty and made admissions on arrest. He knew that he faced being jailed because of the previous conviction and the fact that he was in breach of the suspended sentence.

Puckering was in a wheelchair at the time of the meat cleaver incident because he had fallen out of a first-floor window and he had broken his shin and his ankle.

At the time of the incident, he had been working with the probation service and there had been in a marked improvement in his situation because he had been able to obtain his own accommodation after earlier living in a hostel.

He had been doing well under the conditions of the suspended sentence and it was unfortunate that he was stopped in the street by the police.

Puckering, who had been in custody on remand, was jailed for 14 months. The sentence included six months for the meat cleaver offence and a consecutive eight months after the suspended sentence was activated.

Because of his time in custody, however, he was expected to be released shortly. He had been cleared of a separate charge of robbery after a trial was stopped by a judge after the end of the prosecution case. A not guilty verdict was entered on that matter.