‘Confused’ pensioner avoids jail for carrying meat cleaver in suit pocket

editorial image

A pensioner has avoided going to jail after he was caught carrying a meat cleaver in Sunderland.

‘Confused’ Anthony Slavin was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment, suspended for six months, following the incident, on June 14.

I don’t think he realises how serious it was, but trying to talk to him about what happened is very difficult. I don’t think you can rule out that it will happen again

Neil Hodgson, defending

The drunk 70-year-old was spotted by concerned members of the public near Roker Retail Park, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “The incident came to the attention of the police following reports of a man carrying some sort of meat cleaver.

“Officers found Mr Slavin near the Metro line and Tesco’s at Roker Retail Park. He was drunk.

“On searching him, they found a 5in long, 3in deep meat cleaver in his suit pocket.”

He told police he was carrying the weapon because he had been threatened in the past.

Slavin, of Wessex Close, Witherwack, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place.

Neil Hodgson, defending, said: “Mr Slavin has had just three matters before the court in the last 39 years.

“He was in the Grenadier Guards for a number of years. He comes from Lancashire, where he worked in the police control centre, looking at CCTV.

“He is very, very shaky about lots of details.

“He says his date of birth is 1945, but the only record we’ve got is 1946.

“There’s seems to be no reason he had the meat cleaver in his pocket, full stop.

“He goes to the butcher’s and buys a big piece of lamb that he chops up, why the butcher can’t chop it for him I don’t know..

“He says he’s had white paint thrown at his house.

“I don’t think we will ever know the how or the where in the world what happened.”

Mr Hodgson added that Slavin’s wife, who lived in London, died a short time before the incident. Shortly after the funeral, he suffered a heart attack and had to have a stent fitted.

“He is not a well man, “ Mr Hodgson said. “I don’t think he realises how serious it was, but trying to talk to him about what happened is very difficult. I don’t think you can rule out that it will happen again.”

A probation report described Slavin as “suffering from confusion and memory loss” and he has been advised to seek help from the Royal British Legion.

Slavin was also told to pay £200 in fines and costs. If he repeats the offence, he faces a mandatory six months in jail.