A TEENAGER who threatened a group of terrified youngsters with a 12-inch meat cleaver has had his identity kept secret after magistrates refused to name him.
The 16-year-old, of Lostock Gralam, was convicted of affray earlier this month but was spared jail when he was sentenced at Vale Royal Magistrates Court this week.
With police backing the Chronicle made an application to the bench for reporting restrictions to be lifted as he is currently subject to an ASBO, and because of the severity of the offence.
But chairwoman of the bench, Elizabeth Pachl, said there was “nothing to be gained” by naming the thug, even though she admitted everyone in the area knew it was him.
On Wednesday, Carolyn Viviani, prosecuting, said the defendant, trailed by a gang of 20 friends, approached the group at Vickersway Park Way, Northwich at about 4.30pm on August 21.
He targeted the frightened teenagers and shouted “I’m going to get at least one of you” as he held the foot-long blade high above his head.
Ms Viviani said: “The witness said he feared for his life and he was concerned at least one member of the group would be seriously assaulted.”
The group ran away terrified and, said Ms Viviani, the male witness is still scared to go outside for fear of running into the defendant.
But Will Hurley, defending, said his client was concerned he would struggle to find a job if his name was published in the paper for a second time.
The teenager told the court: ”I didn’t mean to scare anyone and I’m sorry about what I did.”
Magistrates sided with the defendant and instead of locking him up imposed a 12-month supervision order with electronic tagging and a 7pm to 7am curfew, which will last for three months.