Wirral man appears in court after threatening binmen

A HOUSEHOLDER angered because refuse collectors had left behind a cardboard box ended up in court today because of his efforts to make them take it away.

Businessman Kevin Nolan rushed out of his home and aggressively shouted at the binmen, who had been unable to accommodate the box in the recycling wagon, and then went inside.

But he re-appeared shortly afterwards dragging the box with him and shouted to them, "You will throw it on."

He was swearing and being aggressive and approached Shaun McCarthy and started to try to fight, throwing his fists in a fighting stance.

"Mr McCarthy stood his ground and Nolan appeared to give up and went back into his house," said Philip Hall, prosecuting.

The refuse collectors carried on their way along the road but he came after them, this time riding a bicycle and in his right hand had a knife.

He moved the knife in the direction of Mr McCarthy's chest and stomach, who moved back.

He pointed the knife, which had a four inch blade, to within an inch of Mr McCarthy.

He then abandoned his bike and followed the men on foot still brandishing the knife, said Mr Hall.

Mr McCarthy grabbed a spade and waved it at him to keep away but Nolan kept making stabbing motions with the knife.

"Mr McCarthy continued to wave the spade and it made contact with his cheek by his jaw. Nolan threw the knife into the garden of a nearby house but came at Mr McCarthy with his fists trying to fight," said Mr Hall.

He began banging on the windows of the wagon threatening to the occupants, "I'm going to smash your head in" but eventually they lost him.

Nolan, 35, of Firbrook Drive, Birkenhead, admitted affray and possessing a knife.

After hearing that he has a drink problem a judge imposed a six month jail term but suspended it for two years. He also placed him under supervision for 12 months and ordered him to attend an alcohol treatment programme and pay 475 prosecution costs.

Judge Bruce Macmillan told Nolan, who wept during the hearing: "Threatening public servants in the street, particularly with a knife, in the current climate is a serious matter."

But he said that if he jailed him immediately his three employees and his partner and three children would suffer and the purpose of imprisonment was to punish him not them.

John Weate, defending, said Nolan, who has previous convictions including drink driving, has an alcohol problem and needs help.

"He created such a furore that a relatively minor matter escalated out of all proportion," he said.