Police had to taser axe man 3 times
AWANTED man who charged at police officers with an axe after warning he was going to chop them up has been jailed.
James Cropper had to be tasered THREE times after brandishing the ‘sharpened’ axe over his head on Newchurch Road in Rawtenstall.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the father-oftwo was initially spotted by police in Waterfoot on June 1 this year who knew that he was wanted for ‘unrelated matters’.
Daniel Prowse, prosecuting, told the court that when an officer followed the 33-year-old into a Co-op store and told him he was wanted for arrest Cropper shouted ‘ You’re not f****** arresting me. Get the f*** away from me’.
The defendant then fled up an alleyway before getting into a stolen car.
Mr Prowse said police followed the car a short distance until ‘a number of people’ including Cropper got out of it. When officers again approached Cropper and told him he was wanted for arrest he ‘ pulled an axe with a red and black handle’ from his trouser waistband.
The court heard how the axe was between 30cm and 45cm long and ‘appeared to have been sharpened because the officer could see the silver edge of the blade’.
When a taser-trained officer told Cropper to ‘stay where he was’ he then ran towards him with the axe above his head shouting ‘I’m going to chop you up’.
Mr Prowse told the court: “Believing that his personal safety was at risk the officer then chose to deploy his taser and tasered the defendant on three occasions.
“As a result of being tasered he fell to the ground and was injured in the process. He continued to make threats upon coming round saying ‘ You better get back, I’m going to kill you’.”
The court heard that when Cropper was being transferred from the police van into custody he ‘became aggressive and angry and spat in the face of a police officer’.
Cropper, of Hollands Close, Rawtenstall, pleaded guilty to affray, having an axe in a public place and common assault. He was jailed for 15 months. Judge Jonathan Gibson said Cropper had a ‘poor record for offending’ and ‘particularly in relation to the police and assaults upon police’.
He said the axe was a ‘fearsome looking weapon’ and that anything other than immediate custody would ‘send out entirely the wrong message’.
●● James Cropper pleaded guilty to affray