Bristol knife threat man's sentence extended
- 25 September 2013
- From the section Bristol
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."