AN ALCESTER man jumped out in front of a car, forcing the driver to stop, and then scratched the side of it with a knife after the passenger had shouted abuse at him.

When he was arrested, David Fisher, 53, claimed he was being ‘set up’ by the occupants of the car and pleaded not guilty to charges of affray, causing damage and possessing a bladed article.

But on the day of his trial Fisher, of Avon Crescent, changed his pleas to guilty. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months, with a 2pm to midnight curfew for three months.

Prosecutor Alexander Davies said that in October 2012 Rory Stowe was driving his Ford Fiesta along Gunnings Road, Alcester, with David Whittaker in the passenger seat.

Fisher and his wife were walking along the same road at the time, delivering Avon catalogues.

Mr Davies said there was ‘a history’ between Fisher and Mr Whittaker, and it was accepted that Mr Whittaker shouted abuse from the car.

“The defendant jumped into the road, forcing the car to stop, and struck out at the car using a knife which caused some scratches to the side of the vehicle and the window.”

The car was driven off, and Fisher walked up the road and was seen to hide the knife in a bush from where it was later recovered by the police.

When he was arrested Fisher admitted hitting the car, but claimed it had been a punch and denied having a knife with him at the time.

He asserted that the two men in the car were making a malicious allegation against him, and that it was ‘a set-up.’

And, asked about the knife recovered by the police, he claimed it had been stolen from his home some months earlier.

Mr Davies pointed out that Fisher had entered his guilty pleas on the basis that he had been provoked and that there was a history of Mr Whittaker causing problems for him and his wife.

In a written ‘basis of plea,’ Fisher said he and his wife were delivering Avon catalogues, and he had the knife with him to cut the ties on the bundles of catalogues, but when Mr Whittaker shouted abuse at him, he ‘snapped’ and struck out at the car in frustration.

Edward Soulsby, defending, said that Fisher has health problems and has ‘a limited lifespan’ according to doctors, adding: “He is counting down the years. He doesn’t work; his health precludes that.”

Sentencing Fisher, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “It was dangerous and foolish to have brandished a knife at someone you regarded as your enemy.”