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Soiled nappy led to man "brandishing" knife on the beach

Soiled nappy led to man

Saturday 22 December 2018

Soiled nappy led to man "brandishing" knife on the beach

Threatening to "gut" two teenagers "like fish" with a knife has earned a man six months behind bars.

Ciaran Millar, 29, was at Fort Pembroke fishing and having a BBQ on 23 April last year when two teenagers approached him.

They had just come back from swimming and found a soiled nappy on their bikes, and because he was nearby, they asked if it belonged to Millar. He told them it did, and asked what they were going to do about it. 

After a short discussion between the two parties, witnesses told the court they saw Millar reach down and pick something up, then heard the teenagers shout: "oh my god he's got a knife", while Millar told them he was going to "gut them like fish". Millar then ran towards the group as they ran off towards the Beach House. He did not pursue them further.

Soon after, Guernsey Police arrived and Millar was arrested on suspicion of assault, despite the fact he told the officers he had just asked the kids to go away.

Guernsey Police Station

In interview with the police, Millar said he had just told the police to go away - and that he didn't threaten them. 

The matter went to trial after he denied the charge, but two independent witnesses corroborated the story and he was found guilty.

Millar was sentenced to six months in prison for the move, although it was acknowledged he had good reason to have the knife on him because he was fishing - so he wasn't punished for possession of a weapon. 

When offering her client's mitigation to Judge Cherry McMillan, Advocate Candice Fletcher said Millar had severe social phobia and agoraphobia, and dealt with serious mental health issues. Judge McMillan questioned why Millar had been on a beach in this case, but Advocate Fletcher said the conditions had played a part in her client's reaction.

In summing up her sentencing, Judge McMillan told Millar she accepted he had a good reason to have the knife on him, but that he had "flared up" when confronted by the teenagers.

"It is your response to that set of circumstances that has brought you before the court, then you denied the obvious," she said.

She said when hearing the witnesses testify, she had a vivid account from one of the teenagers about how they had "never been so scared in their life".

"You flared up and began to challenge the young people, it was obvious you committed this offence, and it was obvious that your brandishing of the knife along with your word was clear evidence of your assault. 

"It seems obvious, but let us say it; we cannot have people brandishing knives on our beaches. You have no remorse, no insight and have never acknowledged that you were wrong, that it was your fault." 

Pictured: Pembroke, where the incident happened. 


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