Knifeman threatens Clitheroe dog walker

Bethany Dewhurst with Tyson
Bethany Dewhurst with Tyson

Police are hunting a knife-wielding man who threatened to stab a young woman in broad daylight in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle.

The frightening incident happened at midday on Thursday, while 21-year-old Bethany Dewhurst was walking her dog Tyson.

That day could have been a lot worse and I would not want anyone, no matter who you are, to think it’s possible you will be stabbled while taking your dog out for a walk. This is not the Cllitheroe I grew up in

Bethany Dewhurst

The Staffordshire Terrier ran up to the man, who was sitting on a bench. It is understood, he took exception to Tyson being near him and started a heated argument with Bethany.

She told him she thought he was being “over the top” with her, to which he replied: “Well if you think I’m being over the top, I’ll stab you” and subsequently pulled out a knife. Speaking of her ordeal, Bethany, a former Bowland High School pupil, said: “I was out walking my dog, minding my own business, when Tyson ran near this man’s bags. The man began kicking him and when I told him not to attack him, he started being abusive and swearing at me. I told him to ‘stop’ and he pulled a knife out and began wielding it towards my neck and threatening to stab Tyson with it. I couldn’t believe it. I was alone in the castle grounds and absolutely scared and petrified, but I tried to act calm and began walking out of the castle grounds. The offender was joined by a friend and they both started to follow me. I started walking quickly and went into the YMCA charity shop where staff locked the doors.”

Brave Bethany is now warning others to be careful while out and about. “These days you never know what people have in their pockets. I left my house that morning and nearly didn’t return. Since the incident, Tyson is not the same and seems very scared. I hope people read this and take in what I say.

“That day could have been a lot worse and I would not want anyone, no matter who you are, to think it’s possible you will be stabbled while taking your dog out for a walk. This is not the Cllitheroe I grew up in.”

Insp. Ian Cooper, of Clitheroe Police, is investigating the shocking attack and CCTV footage is currently being examined.

“This is an unusual incident,” he stressed. “I would not want people to be worried that we have got someone going around threatening people with a knife. He pulled out a pen knife after having had quite a heated argument. We would like to speak to him though as we cannot have people going around pulling out knives on people.”

The man is described as a white male, aged 50 to 55 years old, around 5ft. 5ins tall, of average build with quite long greying hair tied in a ponytail.