Pensioner pulled knife on couple for not sticking to Covid rules

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

A pensioner threatened a couple with a knife in a shop because they refused to follow coronavirus guidelines, a court was told.

Retired prison clerical officer, Deborah Fudge, 63, brandished a Stanley knife in a B&M store in Grimsby after the couple failed to wear face masks or social distance.

Grimsby Crown Court heard how Fudge had "politely" asked the couple to adhere to the mandatory two-metre distance rules after she spotted them not wearing face coverings.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, said it was a "strange offence" which was committed in the DIY aisle of the Victoria Street store at about 1pm on October 23, GrimsbyLive reports.

Fudge, who took early retirement due to poor health, was wearing a mask and had a handbag in a trolley she was pushing around the store.

The prosecutor said: "The defendant politely asked them to stand two metres away from her. The man ignored the request and said there was enough room, to which the defendant said 'Don't get funny with me'."

He added there was an exchange between the two parties to which Mrs Fudge replied: "Don't get cocky or there will be trouble."

She reached into her handbag and produced a Stanley knife, even though they were about three metres apart, the court heard.

The female victim alerted security staff, with Fudge claiming the guard was rude to her.

When police arrived, the defendant admitted she got a knife out because the other shoppers had got too close to her. She said she would not have used the weapon and probably would have "slapped" the man instead.

In an interview with officers, she said she had put the knife in her bag two or three weeks ago and had forgotten it was still in there.

"It is clear fear was caused to the Grimsby couple and they were scared that a 63-year-old woman had taken a Stanley knife out of her bag," said Mr Evans.

  • Major lockdown hope as Boris Johnson promises 'no change to roadmap'

He went on: "It is a bizarre offence involving a 63-year-old who has never troubled the courts before. She seemed rather bemused about what all the fuss was about."

Judge David Tremberg gave Fudge a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered her to pay £85 costs after she admitted possessing the knife.

The judge said: "Issues of social distancing in shops are not uncommon these days around the country.

"They require a degree of forbearance, circumspection and personal responsibility. Instead you saw red and removed a Stanley knife from your handbag. It was clearly intended to intimidate them."

After the hearing, Fudge told GrimsbyLive she thought more should be done in stores to prevent people who refuse to wear masks from entering.

"I don't know how he got in. It wasn't just me that was at fault. If he had been exempt for a reason, I would not have had a problem, but he had no identification and never said why he wasn't wearing a mask. He just got too close," she said.

Wearing masks in shops became mandatory in July last year – except for those exempt on medical grounds.

  • Knife Crime
  • Courts
  • B&M Stores

Source: Read Full Article