Man sentenced for waving knife at police

06/02/2012

A Bedford man previously convicted of murder, who was released from prison last November, is back behind bars for brandishing a knife at police officers in the street.

Rodney Smith was 17 when he kicked 72-year-old Ferdinand McNally to death at a house in Coventry Road, Bedford on 20 June 2006.

The following year he was given an indefinite sentence for public protection at Luton Crown Court and was told he must serve at least three and half years before applying for parole, but his licence would last for life. He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

On 18 November last year he was released and returned to London Road, Bedford.

But, on 07 January this year, police were called to the area and found Smith, now aged 23, in the street with blood on his face.

When they approached him he pulled a lock knife from his pocket, opened it and waved it at the officers.

Prosecutor Robin Miric told Luton Crown Court on Friday, 03 February 2012: "He said to them, "if you come here I will stab you, " and ignored their demands to put the knife down."

He said police used their spray and a baton to restrain him.

Smith pleaded guilty to carrying an offensive weapon. Judge Marie Catterson jailed him for a year, but he will remain in custody when that sentence is finished until the Parole Board reconsider when it is safe for him to be released.

The Judge told him: "It is plain that everybody thought that you were making very good progress in custody. What happened this January shows you have let everybody down.

"The knife may have been small but when it was open it was pretty fearsome."

Matthew Aldwinckle, defending said: "He was doing really well, so this has come as a complete shock.

"But he had to cope with two deaths in the family and the near death of his father and he could not deal with it.

"That day he had been badly beaten by his brother, his left eye was closed and his hearing aid had been broken. He was disoriented, could barely see and could not hear what was being said. He did not even realise they were police officers until they got very close to him.

"The knife had been his brother's and he had taken it from him."

The solicitor said Smith will now have great difficulty persuading the Parole Board that he should be given another chance in the community.

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