A KNIFEMAN who “squared up” to another man in a late night street confrontation has received a suspended prison sentence.

Mark Craig Hughes, 32, tried to hide behind the other man when police arrived and dropped his weapon as he backed towards a driveway, said Richard Walters, prosecuting.

But an officer heard the metal sound of the weapon hitting the ground and a search found the five-inch fixed blade knife.

For Hughes, Neal Kutte said he had not used the weapon and if he was locked up he would lose his job as a heating engineer and his accommodation.

Hughes, of Westfield Place, off Askham Lane, Acomb, pleaded guilty to having a knife in public.

He was given a six-month jail term suspended for two years on condition he does 120 hours’ unpaid work and pays £340 prosecution costs plus a statutory surcharge.

Mr Walters said police were called to a disturbance in Askham Lane at 12.55am on Sunday, April 15.

“The defendant and another man were facing each other. The officers say they were ‘squaring up to each other’,” he said.

As he backed away, an officer saw Hughes reach into the back of his trousers and drop something that gave a metal sound as it hit the ground.

Mr Walters said that Hughes had said when he arrived at the police station: “I had the knife because we were having a fight.”

But when interviewed, he had claimed he had been at a party earlier that evening, gone home to get a phone charger and had picked up the knife to cut wood.

A probation officer said Hughes had told him he had picked up the knife at a barbecue at the party and the incident in the street had not been an argument.

Hughes had told him the police had been called over an argument he had had with a third person at the barbecue.