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Knife-wielding man found guilty of affray

Police officers commended for bravery

A Peel man, who wielded a knife in an altercation with two police officers, has been found guilty of affray in the Court of General Gaol Delivery.

Forty-one year old John Blanchard will be sentenced in October.

The incident happened on the night of Saturday 10 June 2017, when officers responded to a domestic disturbance.

The court heard that on arrival, the two officers encountered Blanchard who was described as 'drunk, irate and aggressive'.

It's thought they spent 'a prolonged period of time' engaging with him as he held a five-and-a-half-inch-long blade kitchen knife.

He refused to release the knife but was eventually restrained by PCs Jon Penman and Katrina Keeling using PAVA incapacitant spray.

Officers had feared for the safety of not only themselves and Blanchard, but also an adult female and a 13-year-old child who were present on the premises.

Mr Blanchard pleaded not guilty to the offence of affray, but after a two-day trial which heard evidence from both officers as well as Mr Blanchard, he was found guilty by a jury.

Deemster Montgomerie commended both officers for their bravery, and Chief Constable Gary Roberts has also awarded them his commendation for bravery after the incident.

The Isle of Man Constabulary have stated that assaults against any members of the Emergency Services will not be tolerated.

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