Westgate knifeman tells court 'I don't know why I'm here'

·1-min read
The knife was found in the Westgate Centre Picture: OM
The knife was found in the Westgate Centre Picture: OM

A homeless man caught with a knife in the Westgate shopping centre was asked to leave court – after he kept shouting over the barristers.

Daniel Southwell, 35, formerly of Luther Street, Oxford, was due to be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Wednesday for having a Stanley knife in the Oxford city shopping centre on December 2 last year.

READ MORE: Knifeman threatened men in town centre

Five months later, on April 18, he was caught in Bonn Square with a wooden-handled knife. On the same date he stole a pouch of tobacco from a newsagent in the square.

Judge Ian Pringle QC heard that no pre-sentence report was available as the probation service had been unable to book a slot to interview the defendant at HMP Bullingdon, where he has been on remand since mid-April.

During the hearing, Southwell kept interrupting the lawyers, telling the court ‘I don’t know why I’m here, to be honest’. He said ‘I shouldn’t go to jail for nothing’ and added ‘[a] knife falling out a bag is nothing to go to jail for’.

The judge warned him to remain quiet before Southwell, who pleaded guilty in May to allegations of knife possession and shoplifting, was asked to leave court.

The court heard he had suffered a brain injury in the past year, suspected to have been caused by solvent misuse.

Judge Pringle adjourned the case for two weeks and ordered a pre-sentence report.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward

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