A man lied about his identity twice after being caught with a knife – even forcing another man to go to court in his place.
Michael Mortimer, of Ashampstead Road, Reading, first came to the attention of police on 16 April last year when he was spotted shouting outside a Peterborough house with a knife.
Armed police arrived at 7.30pm and found Mortimer holding a large kitchen knife and using a large tile as a shield.
He put down the weapon and was arrested after telling officers he had been drinking and taking cocaine.
When taken into custody Mortimer gave a false name.
In police interview he said he carried a knife for his own protection and said he had an “ongoing feud” with a “gang with guns”.
A court summons was issued charging him with possession of a knife and possession of an offensive weapon – but was sent to the man whose name he had given to police.
The man, who was known to Mortimer, appeared at court three separate times to prove he was not responsible for the crimes.
He named Mortimer as the culprit, who was then circulated as a wanted man for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Earlier this year, police were called to a house in the same area of Peterborough after calls came in to say a man was carrying a large knife.
Mortimer, 35, was seen to climb onto a brick wall with the knife at 5pm on 18 March. When questioned by a resident he said he was looking for someone and told them not to worry.
He was then seen to climb off the wall onto a garden shed but this caused the shed’s roof to give way. He used the nearby wall to climb into a tree, where he stayed until police arrived and arrested him.
The knife was never found but video doorbell footage caught him red handed with the weapon.
Mortimer was taken into custody but, for the second time, gave the same false name as he had before.
When interviewed he reiterated that was his name, and claimed he picked the knife up from the floor after seeing a fight in the area and running off.
He admitted throwing the knife into the tree after climbing it and also damaging the shed roof.
Mortimer was further arrested for two counts of perverting the course of justice after officers revealed they knew he was lying about his identity.
He refused to answer any further questions but was later charged with two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, two counts of perverting the course of justice and criminal damage.
He admitted the charges and was sentenced at Huntingdon Law Courts on Wednesday (23 August) where he was handed one year and one month in prison, after also breaching a previous suspended sentence.
DC Stephanie Dunlop, who investigated, said: “Mortimer’s lies led to an innocent man having to attend court three times and plead his innocence – an experience which no doubt must have been daunting and unpleasant.
“Mortimer claimed he carried a knife for his own protection – but all this really does is put you more at risk of using the weapon or being injured.
“We will do all we can to take those who carry knives off our streets and bring them to justice.”
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