AN ARMIDALE man who lunged at police with a knife has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Kenneth James Campbell appeared via video link from Cessnock’s maximum-security centre and sat quietly throughout his sentencing in Armidale Local Court.
Campbell was charged with three offences, including armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, intimidating police, and affray, stemming from the incident on the night of July 19.
Magistrate Karen Stafford detailed the nature of the offences, from when Campbell became involved in an affray with others in Armidale.
“The people threatened in that situation were a number of local police,” she said.
Ms Stafford said Campbell had been part of a group of people that had been inciting police to fight.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, you then emerged from the front yard holding a 45cm knife,” she told the court.
“A very serious offence.”
The court was told police had to disperse from the situation before they could arrest Campbell.
Campbell’s solicitor, Elizabeth Stahlut, said her client had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity. She said New Horizons, an Armidale-based treatment service, was willing to help her client rehabilitate himself.
“New Horizons is still willing to give what support they can to Mr Campbell,” she said.
“It is regrettable that he breached their rules,” she told the court after her client lasted less than a month on a previous occasion.
Ms Stahlut said rehabilitation was the priority and could help Campbell “to turn his life around”. “Promotion of rehabilitation should be of utmost concern in this matter,” she said.
However, Crown prosecutor Peter Woods argued Campbell’s sentence should not be concurrent to previous matters, because he’s “shown no effort to rehabilitate himself”.
“He’s taken a violent situation into the community ... used a weapon, a large knife, about 45cm long,” Mr Woods said.
“Police had to withdraw from the situation” and “muster the troops to deal with the “violent situation”, he said.
Magistrate Stafford said Campbell needed to be punished.
“There is clearly a long-standing issue with alcohol that must be addressed,” she said.
“No alternative but to impose a fulltime custodial sentence.”
Campbell was sentenced to 15 months in prison with a six-month non-parole period, dating back to Campbell’s arrest on the night of the incident.