Samurai sword-threat victim blasts 'joke' sentence as Hessle Road neighbour walks free
A MAN who was threatened by his neighbour with a Samurai sword says he cannot believe he walked free from court.
John Paul Goult waved and pointed the sword and a hammer at Leslie Ward.
It followed complaints from residents that Goult was playing his music too loudly and jumping on the floor of his upstairs flat.
But when the case came to court, Goult apologised and was given a suspended sentence.
Hull Aero Club is the place for you! For information, for bookings or to buy a flight as a special gift, phone us or see our website at www.hullaeroclub.co.uk
Terms: Trial flying lessons, 2-seat aircraft, half-hour £75, hour £130; 4-seat aircraft, half-hour £90, hour £160.
Contact: 01964 770415
Valid until: Saturday, June 01 2013
Mr Ward, 50, is angry at the sentence and is now seeking to bring a civil prosecution against Goult.
The painter and decorator said: "He came at me like a crazed banshee.
"I stood my ground and he backed off and I was able to ring the police.
"I just cannot believe what I have seen. He has been given a suspended sentence. I think it is absolutely crazy.
"The only thing I can do now is take a private prosecution, which will cost me thousands.
"I can't believe you can come at someone with a sword and walk free from court."
The police were called to the Hessle Road flat complex, where Mr Ward and Goult lived, on January 22 following complaints from residents about Goult playing loud music.
Mr Ward returned home after the police left to find Goult arguing with his pregnant neighbour.
The court heard he stepped in to protect her and the next thing he knew Goult was returning from his upstairs flat carrying a Samurai sword, which was more than a metre in length, and a hammer.
Mr Ward said: "I had just finished work and went into the house when I just heard this argument.
"I heard him arguing with my neighbour so I went outside and told him enough was enough.
"He came back with these weapons.
"My neighbours were petrified.
"I went back into my flat and phoned the police and said, 'I've just been threatened with a Samurai sword'."
The police arrived at 11pm and closed the road as armed officers entered the building and arrested Goult.
Goult, of Grafton Street, west Hull, pleaded guilty to affray at Hull Crown Court on the basis that he had the weapons but was not going to use them.
The court heard Mr Ward claimed Goult lunged at him with the sword but the Crown Prosecution Service accepted the defendant's basis of plea due to evidence provided from an independent witness.
Judge Simon Jack sentenced him to a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
He was ordered to undertake a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and an intensive alternative to custody course for 12 months.
Judge Jack ordered that the sword and the hammers be forfeited.
But Mr Ward has described the sentence as "a joke".
He said: "I was told that if he had frightened me to death he would have been locked up but because I stood up to him he has walked free and got a suspended sentence.
"He admitted coming downstairs with a sword and a hammer but claimed he wasn't using them to threaten us, but I'm not happy.
"To be told the reason he didn't go to jail is because I didn't go to pieces is a joke.
"I cannot leave this now. I'm flabbergasted. It is ridiculous, an utter joke.
"The judge said I was extremely brave in what I did to stand up to him but because I didn't go away and it hasn't badly affected me he has got away with it.
"Goult was given credit because he said sorry, but we are all sorry when we get caught doing something wrong."
A spokeswoman from CPS Humberside said: "Mr Ward behaved in a very brave way during this incident and was commended for this by the judge in court. This did not in any way affect the sentence he went on to impose.
"The judge explained that as the defendant had no previous convictions, had expressed considerable regret about his actions and was wiling to address his drug issues, he was imposing a suspended sentence.
"In addition he was given a 12-month intensive alternative to custody requirement and a six month drug rehabilitation order.
"This will involve a minimum contact of eight hours a week, an agreed treatment plan, and two drug tests per week for the first 16 weeks.
"The defendant will be required to appear regularly before the judge at the Crown Court to monitor his progress and ensure he is conforming with the requirements of his sentence."