A MAN who brandished a samurai sword during a fight in a Whitchurch shopping centre has been spared an immediate prison sentence along with a woman who had carried it in her child's pushchair.
David Nicholls, 28, of Castlefields, Shrewsbury, and Emma Lymburn, 25, of Queensway, Whitchurch, had both entered guilty pleas to possession of the sword before their appearance at Shrewsbury Magistrates last Wednesday.
Nicholls, had also pleaded guilty to a charge of affray after becoming embroiled in a scuffle with another man which resulted in the pair falling through a Watergate Arcade shop window.
Pictures from CCTV footage showed Nicholls with the weapon as pedestrians and children walked through the arcade at around 4pm on September 27 last year.
Phillip Beardwell, prosecuting, said the incident occurred when Lymburn became involved in an argument with another woman, Lisa Edge.
Nicholls, who had been walking with Lymburn, then became involved in a scuffle with another man, Andrew Hipkiss, who had been with Miss Edge.
Their actions had caused a pushchair to be knocked over causing one of Lymburn's children to be tipped out.
Nicholls had taken and unsheathed the sword from the puschair's baggage rack before both he and Mr Hipkiss crashed through the shop window, resulting in the latter receiving a seven-inch head wound and a three centimetre wound to his finger.
Lymburn was arrested at her home later the same day. Nicholls had handed himself in to police.
Mr Adrian Roberts, defending Nicholls, explained he had picked up the sword after Mr Hipkiss had allegedly told Nicholls he was going to stab him with a needle.
It was agreed from CCTV footage that Mr Hipkiss had approached Nicholls and that the defendant had not been the aggressor.
The court heard the sword had been hidden from view in the pushchair by Lymburn
to take it for valuation at a Whitchurch shop.
Michael Sherwood-Smith, defending, said: "There is no evidence she encouraged, facilitated or assisted in the removal of the sword."
Experts said the sword would have been too blunt to cause anything more than bruising, but Judge Peter Barrie told Lymburn she had been "extremely stupid" to take it into a public place.
Nicholls was sentenced to 34 weeks for affray and 16 weeks for possession of a bladed article to run concurrently, with both sentences suspended for 12 months.
He was also placed under a 12-month supervision order and given200 hours community service.
Lymburn, for possession of the sword, received an eight-week prison sentence to be suspended for 12 months and six months supervision.