Knife maniac’s threat as crew tackled blaze

A DRUNK waved a 12- inch kitchen knife at firefighters to stop them putting out a fire.

Michael Doherty, 28, from West Bank in Illingworth, Halifax, produced the blade after reports to the fire service of a blaze near Turner Avenue South in Ovenden last July.

When crews arrived at the scene at 4am to put out the fire. Doherty told them: “You’re not going to put the fire out.”

Firefighters told him they would have to, but as they moved towards the fire Doherty pulled the knife out and asked: “So you’re going to put the fire out, then?”

They returned to the fire engine and called the police, who later arrested him.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Doherty was drinking seven litres of cider a day at the time.

He pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and a charge of affray

He was also sentenced for racially assaulting a shop keeper in April last year.

He was given a 12- month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, as well as a five-year restraining order which prevents him going into the shop in Turner Avenue South.

Doherty must also complete 100 hours’ unpaid work and will be under supervision for 18 months.

The judge, Recorder Toby Wynn, told Doherty that his actions on each occasion were “sickening.”

“To threaten a fire fighter with a knife when they are doing their duty beggars belief,” he told Doherty.

“Just try and remember how low you sank that evening and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Regarding the racist abuse, Recorder Wynn said: “Shopkeepers are extremely hard working and provide an invaluable service to the community they serve.

“The courts must protect them. The abuse this shopkeeper received from you was sickening.”

“At 28 years old there is a glimmer of hope for you, which is why I have imposed this sentence,” he added.