Bristol knife threat man's sentence extended

A man has been handed a longer jail term for threatening to slit his neighbour's throat in Bristol.

Patrick O'Leary, 49, had been drinking and rowed with the man over borrowing tobacco. He also racially abused him.

He went to the man's flat in Whitchurch armed with a knife, forcing the victim to defend himself with a golf club.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal ruled his three-month suspended sentence was unduly lenient and extended it to 15 months in custody.

Lord Justice Pitchford said: "We have no doubt that for a few frightening minutes the offender was out of control and dangerous."

Surrender to police

He acknowledged O'Leary had pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill and was a vulnerable person with mental health problems.

But he said the suspended sentence was "without question" unduly lenient, even though he had not offended since 2005.

O'Leary had been in jail after breaching a curfew which activated the three-month sentence. He was released on Wednesday.

But he will now have to immediately surrender himself to police after the court ruled he must serve the longer term.

The original sentence was made at Bristol Crown Court in July.

The case was referred to the High Court by Solicitor General, Oliver Heald.

After the hearing, Mr Heald said: "Everyone is entitled to live in their own homes without fear of attack and I hope this sentence forcibly underlines this message."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Bristol



Min. Night 17 °C


  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world

  • Ed Miliband takes a selfie at a Cambridge hairdressersNo more photo ops?

    Why is Ed Miliband drawing attention to his public image?

  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?

  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?

  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it for three planes to crash in eight days?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.