A MAN from Prestatyn who threatened to “chop people’s heads off” while carrying a knife has been spared jail.

Keith Hibbert, 38, of Ffordd Cae Felin, was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Mold Crown Court today (April 12).

He had previously admitted charges of possession of a bladed article and of threatening behaviour.


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Prosecuting, Jemma Gordon told the court that, at about 6.45pm on June 12, 2023, a neighbour was sat in his back garden when he heard Hibbert repeatedly shouting “Liverpool” in a “loud and incoherent” fashion.

Hibbert, who was seen “hanging out of his downstairs window”, then began shouting abuse and swearing, while another neighbour said they had seen the defendant carrying a knife.

As Hibbert caught sight of his neighbour, he pulled up a trouser leg and reached for a knife in his sock.

He walked across the street with the knife now placed behind his back, and approached the man in his driveway, which he found “deeply unnerving”.

Hibbert touched the man on his stomach before dropping the knife on the pavement, saying: “They were speaking badly; I’m a nice guy, but I’m not anymore, and they treated me like s***.”

The defendant later added: “I’m going to chop people’s heads off and kill them.”

The neighbour said he could smell alcohol on the breath of the “extremely drunk” Hibbert, who also tried to hug him.

A number of other neighbours – including children - witnessed the incident, which lasted about 10 minutes, and were said to have been “alarmed” by Hibbert’s behaviour.

Police were called, and the knife was retrieved and the defendant arrested.

Defending Hibbert, who had 13 previous convictions for 22 offences, Gareth Bellis said his client has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

He was suffering from a relapse in his mental disorder at the time and also struggles with alcoholism, but has not re-offended since this incident, Mr Bellis said.

Hibbert is now complying with taking his medication to treat his disorder, though, and was said to be willing to engage with the probation service.

Sentencing, Judge Nicola Saffman labelled Hibbert’s behaviour “bizarre”, telling him that it “incredibly unnerved” the neighbour.

But she agreed to suspend his custodial sentence, deeming it “unjust” to imprison him immediately due to “exceptional circumstances”.

She also ordered Hibbert to complete a mental health treatment programme, 30 days’ rehabilitation activity requirements, and a 120-day period of monitored alcohol abstinence.

The knife he carried was ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.

Judge Saffman told Hibbert: “This is a very difficult sentence. The alcohol abstinence will support you through your mental health treatment requirement.

“The mental disorder you have will never be cured; it can only be treated.”