HERO COP STOPS CITY KNIFEMAN
DALE ALSTON, PICTURED, WAS CAUGHT AFTER SLASHING A LARGE KITCHEN KNIFE IN FRONT OF HORRIFIED SHOPPERS OUTSIDE M&S
SHOPPERS in Cardiff city centre were left shocked and scared when a man started shouting, swearing and slashing the air with a large kitchen knife.
Dale Alston, 23, was arrested after being chased along Queen Street by a plain clothes police officer during the incident which happened in broad daylight on a busy shopping street.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court, prosecutor Julian Greenwood described the events as “very alarming”.
The court heard the incident occurred in an alleyway behind Marks & Spencer at lunchtime on Tuesday, September 12.
Prosecutors said PC Andrew Lewis was on Charles Street when he saw the defendant approach another man shouting: “I’m going to f***ing stab you.”
Mr Greenwood told the court Alston was “swinging” a large, blackhandled kitchen knife at the man and “slashing” the air. The police officer then heard him shout: “You’re going to f***ing have it.”
Prosecutors said the defendant ran through the back doors of Marks & Spencer, past the church, and dropped the knife as he was chased by the police officer.
The court heard PC Lewis, who has been a police officer for 14 years, had to use spray and a baton to bring the defendant under control.
In a statement read out in court, he said passers-by were “scared”, adding: “There was a general feeling of shock.”
The experienced police officer described the incident as “shocking” and said: “His behaviour was reckless, terrifying and dangerous.”
Speaking after the hearing, he said: “I think it is just lucky that serious injury was not caused.”
Alston admitted the offence in his police interview and told officers he had been “having problems” with the man.
He stated they agreed to “end it there” by having a fight in the alleyway and accepted he “flipped” and “lost it”.
The defendant told police he had been threatened and felt it was necessary to carry a knife.
Prosecutors said he had previous convictions for violence and public order offences.
The court heard he threatened staff with a hacksaw as a juvenile when he was in care.
Mr Greenwood said: “There is a pattern emerging of using offensive weapons.”
Alston, 23, who does not have a permanent address, admitted possessing a knife in a public place.
Jonathan Lewis, defending, said his client was put in care when he was two and estimated he had been in 90 care placements across South Wales.
He said Alston accepted he was “a handful” when he was younger and had no formal qualifications.
The court heard he made frequent appearances before the youth court and had little schooling.
Mr Lewis said his client felt hopeless and isolated, adding: “He does not feel safe.”
The court heard he was released from prison in December last year and turned away from all hostels in the city due to his behaviour towards other residents.
Mr Lewis said he ended up living in a tent behind Cardiff Castle and decided to arm himself with a knife because he felt vulnerable.
He stressed it was a “chance encounter” with the other man, not a planned meeting.
The defence barrister added: “He acknowledges he behaved atrociously on this occasion.”
Recorder Richard Williams told the defendant: “You were waving that knife in the air in the centre of Cardiff in the middle of the day. That must have been horrific to those who saw.”
Alston was jailed for two years and an order was made for the knife to be destroyed.
Dale Alston has been jailed for two years
Alston slashed the air with this knife during the incident on Queen Street, Cardiff, earlier this month