Man brandished Samurai sword

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A CLITHEROE man brandished a Samurai sword during a dispute with his neighbours.

Blackburn magistrates heard that 43-year-old Anthony Allan Birchall was due to be evicted from his home in Seedall Avenue as a result of the long-running disagreement.Matters came to a head after he had been drinking before confronting his neighbours.

Birchall pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour towards Stephen Scott and Rachel Duerden, also to possessing an offensive weapon (the Samurai sword), and to possession of cannabis. He was committed in custody to Preston Crown Court for sentence.

Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said Miss Duerden had ignored several comments from Birchall during the day of the incident. At 10-45 p.m. she was standing at the front door having a cigarette when she saw him and he mumbled something.

“Next thing he emerged from his home with the Samurai sword,” said Miss Allan. “He had the weapon in his right hand and was wielding it above his head. Miss Duerden has children and was concerned for their safety.”

Mr Andrew Church-Taylor (defending) said the neighbour dispute was largely over noise and there had been heated arguments in the past.

“He says his neighbours have done everything they can to get him evicted,” said Mr Church-Taylor.

“On this day he tried to offer an olive branch earlier on, but his apology was not accepted. He accepts he had this ornamental sword above his head, but he was some distance away and was always behind the fence. He never went into their garden.”