December 22, 2021 2.13 pm This story is over 30 months old

Armed man scared hotel guests with knife

He became paranoid that people were looking for him

A Fleet man who frightened a woman and her grandson when he armed himself with a kitchen knife was today (Wednesday) jailed for 12 months.

Benjamin Flatters, 31, was staying at the Anglia Motel when he became paranoid that people were looking for him and rang the police.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Flatters ignored the reassurances of the 999 operator and went looking around the building after arming himself with a kitchen knife which he took from another resident’s room.

Chris Jeyes, prosecuting, said Flatters put the knife in his waistband to the alarm of other people in the area – including a woman and her grandson.

Mr Jeyes told the court although no violence was used at one point Flatters raised the knife above his head in a stabbing motion.

When police arrived Flatters appeared to be paranoid and acting in a confused state.

Flatters, formerly of Washway Road, Fleet, admitted two charges of affray and possessing a bladed article after the incident on September 17 this year.

John McNally, mitigating, told the court it was clear Flatters had been suffering from paranoia in recent months and had contacted the police as a way of drawing attention to his mental health problems.

Mr McNally said: “He didn’t actually use any violence, although he had the knife with him.

“He tells me he is now doing relatively well in prison and has a trusted job.”

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC said it was clear Flatters was suffering from paranoia but other people in the area had been put in fear by his actions.

Flatters was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and also admitted breaching a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer for which he will serve another six weeks.

Armed man jailed after scaring hotel guests with knife