Children screamed as a sword-waving man hurled obscenities and attacked an ice cream van on July 1, the BBC reported. Now the alleged attacker faces more than two years in jail.
Police say the incident happened in Merseyside, England, and that the suspect, 32-year-old Jamie Tickle, was “drunk and high on cocaine” at the time, according to the network.
Officials said Nan Watkinson was serving children in the area late that Sunday when Tickle wandered up to her ice cream van brandishing a samurai sword and began making threats, the St. Helens Star reported.
“I had thoughts of being killed and never seeing my children again. My biggest fear was for the three children I’d been serving,” Wilkerson said in a victim’s statement heard by the court, according to the paper. “I was terrified but had to try and prevent the attacker from going around to the hatch where the children were. I could hear the children screaming and crying.”
She wanted to get evidence, so she swung her dash camera to face the man, capturing part of his rant.
Their exchange is not easy to follow, but Watkinson can be heard saying “Go on! Go on!” before the man reaches into the truck and strikes the driver’s seat with the handle of the blade.
Tickle fled after the woman pointed the camera at him and called police, but was caught a short time later hiding behind some garbage cans, the BBC reported.
Police said in a release that nobody was hurt, but the driver and two children in the area were “shaken” by the incident.
“Jamie Tickle’s actions left Mrs Watkinson and the children who witnessed the incident terrified and yet the reason why he did this is still unclear,” prosecutor Kate Gaskell said in court, according to the Press Association. “The victim is a self-employed businesswoman who works hard to make a living in a neighbourhood that she loves, where she lives and is known well. This incident happened on her birthday and, in her statement to the court, she said it was the love and support from her family and neighbours that have helped her through this ordeal.”
On August 2, Tickle was sentenced to 32 months in prison on charges of affray and possession of a weapon, the BBC reported.
“This was a truly awful incident that took place on a busy suburban street in broad daylight, in full view of a number of children,” Gaskell said in court, according to the St. Helens Star.
Police praised Watkinson for her quick thinking.
“The victim in this case was calm and collected throughout her ordeal and had the foresight to point her dash-cam to the offender. This action, and her bravery throughout, helped us to identify the offender and make sure he was brought to justice,” Merseyside detective constable Phil Poynton said in a news release.
He added that the incident was evidence that “using a knife on our streets in totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it. We will find you and you will be taken off our streets.”
Knife crime has become a major issue in the United Kingdom, with The Telegraph reporting more than 40,000 offenses in the last year.In May, a judge even floated the idea of intentionally dulling kitchen knives to make them less deadly.