Wigan man who taped knives to his hands and prowled streets walks free from court

Police probe
Police probe

A middle-aged Wiganer who taped knives to his hands and prowled the streets has walked free from court.

Derek Cooper, of Gidlow Lane, pleaded guilty to possession of bladed article and possession of an offensive weapon following a disturbing incident at the beginning of the year.

The 49-year-old was spotted by his ex-partner, who was socialising with friends in a town bar when he walked past the window.

According prosecutors, Cooper had been involved in a prior “domestic” incident towards his former partner - which resulted in the breakdown of their relationship.

“The victim was out and about in Wigan when she saw the defendant walking past the window,” said a CPS spokewoman. “He saw her through the window and gestured for her to come outside. She refused, it was then that he revealed the knives sellotaped to his hands.”

Terrified, the woman - who remains anonymous, told staff at the establishment who immediately contacted police.

She later identified him when police showed her CCTV footage.

Cooper pleaded guilty to both offences at an earlier hearing at Wigan Magistrates’ Court but the magistrates deemed it too serious to stay under their jurisdiction.

He was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court by Judge Graeme Smith to a three-month jail term suspended for 18 months.

If he reoffends or breaches the conditions of the community sentence, he could face jail.