Landlord disarms customer who came into Dawlish Warren pub with garden tool

Wednesday 24th February 2021 2:18 pm
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Exeter Crown Court.

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A PUB landlord disarmed a customer who took a bladed gardening tool into a seaside bar after an argument with staff.

Ian Dodd left Lee’s Bar at Dawlish Warren after a verbal exchange but then walked to his home nearby and came back with the weapon.

An off duty policeman who was drinking in the beer garden spotted the knife in Dodd’s pocket as he walked in and followed him to ensure there was no trouble.

The officer found that the landlord had already defused the situation by confiscating the knife, which was in a sheath and had been in Dodd’s pocket.

Binman Dodd, aged 37, of Warren Road, Dawlish Warren, admitted possession of a bladed article in a public place when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, curfewed for three months, ordered to attend a thinking skills course and 10 days of rehabilitation activities, and pay £350 costs by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told him the offence was serious because he chose to go back to the pub with the weapon in the context of a hostile atmosphere.

He said: ‘This was effectively a knife, although it may have been a gardening tool. It created a dangerous situation in which if there had been one false move, somebody could have been seriously injured.’

Miss Francesca Whebell, prosecuting, said Dodd was drinking on his own at the pub on the evening of July 24 last year when the incident happened.

Bar staff had already told him to sit down and comply with the Covid restrictions and had said they would throw him out if there was any further disagreement.

An off duty officer saw him walk away and thought he was drunk and was surprised to see him return with the wooden handle of a weapon protruding from his trouser pocket.

He went into the bar to find that the landlord had already taken custody of the knife, which Dodd said he had found in a hedge nearby.

A probation report said Dodd had been drinking for some time, having started with an after work pint in Newton Abbot with colleagues and ended with another five or six pints of lager back in Dawlish Warren.

He regretted going back and now appreciates the potential for danger which he created.

Mr Martin Salloway, defending, said Dodd would lose his job and accommodation and would be unable to support his frail mother if he went straight to jail.

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