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Jailed knifeman drunk an entire bottle of whisky before threatening station staff

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Richard John Compton

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A knife-wielding man, who threatened three members of staff at Swansea railway station as they were locking up for the night, is now behind bars.

Having drunk a bottle of whisky during the day, Richard John Compton became angry when he turned up at the station at 12.50am on 27 January 2017, only to be told by staff they were closing and there were no more trains for the night.

He did not respond to their advice and refused to leave, and instead just stared at them before lifting his top up to reveal a nine-inch knife.

Fearing for their safety, the station staff backed away and called police, at which point 36-year-old Compton became agitated and increasingly aggressive.

When police turned up, he was armed with a knife and a spray canister, and despite being repeatedly asked to drop the weapons, he only did so when officers discharged a Taser. He was searched and found to be carrying another, smaller lock knife.

After pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of an offensive weapon and affray, Compton - of Maldowers Lane, Bristol - was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment at Swansea Crown Court on Monday 27 March. He was also ordered to pay £140 victim surcharge.

Investigating officer DC Dan Murdoch said: “This was undoubtedly a terrifying incident for all three members of staff. Fearing for his life, one of the victims jumped down onto the tracks to escape his attacker. They all thought Compton was going to stab one or all of them. 

“The officer who was first on the scene said that in a ten-year policing career, he had never seen anyone behave in the way Compton did, while one of the victims described the incident as the most traumatic event of his career.

“Despite the fact he was given plenty of opportunity to drop the weapons, he refused and carried on behaving in an aggressive and threatening manner. He continued to be violent after his arrest, forcing officers to use leg restraints to contain the situation.

“Compton admitted to having drunk a bottle of whisky that day and said he was angry that the station was closed, fearing he had missed his train and ferry connection. He also claimed he was carrying the knives for protection and used them when camping and to open parcels. However, knives cost lives and there is never any excuse to carry a weapon in public.

“I would like to reassure the public that incidents such as this are extremely rare. Millions of passenger journeys are made safely each year, and the railway in and around Swansea remains a very safe place for passengers and staff.”

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