THE bravery of patrons at a North Yorkshire social club has been praised, after they restrained a weapon-wielding man.

Malcolm Paul Johnson assaulted a customer in a social club on East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire Police said. He left, but later returned carrying an imitation firearm (an air pistol) and a machete, the force added.

It said a number of members of the public having a drink at the bar intervened and disarmed him, eventually managing to get him away and the victim to safety.

North Yorkshire Police officers located Johnson and arrested him a short time later.

The incident happened on February 25.

Johnson, 52, of Dragon Parade, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to drink driving, possession of an imitation firearm, possession of a knife in a public place, affray and assault.

On Friday at York Crown Court, he was jailed for a total of four years and banned from driving. The judge commended the patrons of the club for their bravery.

DC Rebecca Prentice, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Members of the public displayed great courage in restraining Johnson, eventually managing to get him away and the victim to safety. They did this not knowing whether the gun was, in fact, real or not – putting themselves in potential danger to assist someone else.”