Those who carried weapons faced “deterrent” sentences, a judge warned on Thursday as he locked up a thug of 17 for hitting another teen on the head with a meat cleaver.

The assailant was sentenced to twelve months detention and training after admitting wounding. Judge Huw Rees at Caernarfon crown court said he and two other young men were part of a “disgraceful” and potentially dangerous incident in the area of the marketplace at Prestatyn last May.

A youth of 17 had been attacked with a sharp meat cleaver. “This was a serious assault causing an eight centimetres laceration which required seven staples. It could have been worse, it could have been catastrophic,” Judge Rees declared. The victim wasn’t a “shrinking violet” but it didn’t justify the savage attack.

“Unbelievably,” the judge said, the accused had the weapon again in public, just days later. Police had been alerted when it fell from his trouser leg and armed officers arrived.

Simon Rogers, defending, said the boy was 16 at the time and had a troubled upbringing. “This is a deeply unpleasant display of violence in public during the day. But this isn’t an unprovoked attack on someone,” the barrister said.

Gareth Griffith, 24, of Chapel Road, Prestatyn, was jailed for a year after being convicted by a trial jury of having a machete. His counsel said he accepted custody was inevitable.

Kelly Hughes, 18, of Cwm, Rhyl, 17 at the time, found guilty of affray when it was claimed he had part of a crutch, was told by the judge that he needed to grow up. Nine months detention, suspended for 18 months, was imposed and he has to do 150 hours unpaid work. Sarah Yates, defending, said he had ADHD and was on medication.

Judge Rees told the trio: "Each of you, if you read a daily newspaper, should understand there is great concern about people who carry knives and weapons. The public are not going to put up with it and the courts are going to pass deterrent sentences.”