Birkenhead man jailed for threats and assault

A Birkenhead man threatened 70-year-old Thomas Hayes before launching a physical assault on him in the street.

Joshua Hoijord Smith appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, 24 April, and during proceedings, it was revealed that on 23 March of this year, Mr Hayes had been watching the England vs. Brazil match at a local pub before making his way home.

According to Callum Ross, the prosecuting attorney, Smith, accompanied by his then girlfriend, approached Mr Hayes and asked him where he was going.

Despite receiving no response from Mr Hayes, they persisted as he continued walking towards his home. Mr Hayes then began recording the couple on his mobile phone.

Smith then confronted Mr Hayes, threatening to stab him and to kill him. Only after neighbours intervened, did Smith and his partner flee the scene, leaving Mr Hayes with cuts and soreness.

Neighbours of Mr Hayes reported retrieving a knife from the ground upon returning outside after the assault. They overheard Smith exclaiming, “Where’s my blade? I could have stabbed you. I could have killed you.”

Appearing via video link, Smith had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of a bladed article in a public place, and possession of heroin. Defending, John Weate told the court that Smith was “hopelessly” addicted to Class A drugs and was “clearly agitated” during his arrest and interview at the police station.

Sentencing Judge Robert-Trevor Jones said, “This was a nasty incident involving a 70-year-old man minding his own business watching football in his local pub. You accosted him as he made his way to his home,” adding, “You threatened to stab and kill him with a knife and the victim was injured. This was a very unpleasant incident.” 

In addition to a restraining order, Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Image: Joshua Hoijord Smith/Merseyside Police

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