Knifeman threatened own mother in Portsmouth charity shop

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A MAN who threatened his mother in a terrifying ordeal at a charity shop has been spared being sent to jail.

Ashley Magee walked into the shop and threatened his mum before turning the knife on himself, prosecutor Martyn Booth said.

Magee’s mother did not make a statement to police but another shop worker did.

The court heard Magee, 26, walked into Barnardo’s in London Road, North End, Portsmouth, on September 17 at 1.40pm when the street was busy with shoppers.

‘When he entered the store he was approached by his mother who was working at the store at the time,’ Mr Booth told the court.

‘They spoke briefly according to the witness.

‘It appeared to be quite amicable and conversation fairly normal.

‘She describes the defendant suddenly pulling out a purple-handled kitchen knife from his right jacket pocket.

‘He took hold of his mother with his left arm round her.’

Magee was holding the knife with the blade pointed away from his mother’s neck before then repeatedly trying to cut his own head.

The witness shouted for someone to call 999 and pleaded with him to let his mother go.

Magee dropped the knife and she took it to the back of the shop.

Police arrived and arrested him. He was bailed to live in London.

Magee had posted messages on Facebook including one that said: ‘I can’t take life any more.

‘I’m going to cut my mum through in the charity shop, maybe I’ll finally get the help I need.’

Unemployed Magee, of Southwark Park Road, London, had his family at Portsmouth Crown Court supporting him.

Bridget O’Hagan, defending, said: ‘He’s not stupid – he just suffers with significant learning difficulties.’

She added Magee loves his mother.

Judge Ian Pearson handed him a 10-month jail term suspended for two years.

The judge said he was ‘slightly uneasy’ about sentencing him without a psychiatric report but said this was a ‘cry for help’.

Magee, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to threatening with a knife at the first opportunity.