A CAPEL Hendre man who had never previously been in trouble with the police suddenly pulled a large hunting knife on a complete stranger, a Swansea Crown Court judge has heard .

Nathan Francis Lawlor, aged 35, of 25 Waterloo Road, admitted possessing a bladed article in a public place.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told the court how – on December 3 last year – Lawlor and Gareth Richards passed each other as they walked in Penybanc Road, Penybanc.

Lawlor said something and Mr Richards asked him what he had said. Lawlor asked him if they knew each other and Mr Richards replied: “No.”

Lawlor then produced a hunting knife with a six-inch blade from a rucksack he was carrying and walked towards Mr Richards while waving it in the air.

Mr Richards became so concerned he ushered a young boy away from the scene and prevented other members of the public from getting close to Lawlor.

The police were called and as they approached Lawlor he asked them: “Are you looking for me? I just met a bloke and waved my knife at him.”

Lawlor was jailed for six months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He was also ordered to pay £120 in prosecution costs and an £80 government surcharge.

Judge Keith Thomas said the production of knives in public places caused concern to the courts because dangerous situations could escalate.

Lawlor had thought he was under threat, possibly because of his mental state or the prescribed drugs he had taken.

He had misconstrued the situation but it was still a mystery as to why he pulled out the knife, added Judge Thomas.