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Off-duty cop confronts knife-waving ex-prisoner in Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

An off-duty policeman came to the rescue after a man high on drugs and alcohol, took a 12in knife into a Swansea street

AN off-duty policeman came to the rescue after a man high on drugs and alcohol, took a 12in knife into a Swansea street.

Police officer Anthony Hutchinson was with his wife and two children in Heol Gwyrosydd, Penlan, on October 16.

He left his two children in the car while he went into a local church at around 4.45pm, Swansea Crown Court heard.

While inside, his son ran in and said: "Dad, quick, there's a man with a knife and he's waving it about".

Mr Hutchinson went outside and walked towards 50-year-old Robert Halfpenny.

He stood around 20ft away from Halfpenny who was holding the knife, which had a 9in blade which was 3in wide.

The officer tried to reassure Halfpenny and calm him down, but fearing he would react badly, took off his flip flops and was ready to run away, the court heard.

Halfpenny then threatened the officer with the knife, saying: "You want it aswell?"

Halfpenny's partner then saw what was happening and came out of the couple's house and pushed him inside.


Halfpenny pleaded guilty to a charge of affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Heywood praised the actions of the policeman, his son and Halfpenny's partner.

He said Mr Hutchinson's son must have been frightened.

"He had a degree of courage by leaving the safety of the car and going to get his father. 'Like any serving policeman, Mr Hutchinson demonstrated courage in coming to approach you.

''He wanted you to be disarmed and he tried to reason with you and calm you," said the judge.

The judge said Halfpenny's partner had also showed courage in approaching him.

Steve John, representing Halfpenny, of Grassholme Gardens, Blaenymaes, said: "There's no excuse, but there is an explanation."


He said his client had been released from prison shortly before the incident and had asked his son to pay his rent so his home was still available when he was released from jail.

However, Mr John said the rent had not been paid and when he was released, Halfpenny had been evicted.

"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," he said.

He said his client had drunk "an awful lot" and consumed Valium for three days before the incident.

"A quantity of which, it is surprising he is still around," said Mr John.

He said Halfpenny had little recollection of the incident.

Judge Heywood jailed Halfpenny for 12 months.

"You could have used that knife to cause serious injury or death and in my view, that makes this a serious offence," he added.

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