Peterborough man who pulled knife on supermarket security guard taken down by water bottle to the face

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A man from Peterborough who threatened a supermarket security guard with a knife was taken down after being hit in the face by a water bottle.

Matthew Swanborough of Chaucer Road, New England, visited the city’s Morrisons store in Lincoln Road on May 25 this year.

CCTV of the incident in Morrisons

CCTV of the incident in Morrisons

Just before 9pm the 23-year-old aroused the suspicion of shop staff who believed he may leave the supermarket without paying.

Swanborough was asked to leave the store and was escorted towards the exit by the store’s security officer.

However, he became verbally abusive and said: “I have a knife and I’m not afraid to use it,” Peterborough Crown Court heard.

The store officer dismissed this, but Swanborough pulled a knife from his waistband and brandished it at waist height towards the security officer.

Fearing he would be stabbed, the security officer struck Swanborough to the face with a water bottle in his hand.

The incident was caught on the store’s CCTV, and at the time the store was also busy with customers.

Swanborough fell to the ground, still clutching the knife, and the security guard held him on the floor.

A customer helped by standing on the knife blade and getting Swanborough to let go of it. Police arrived and the knife was seized.

In police interview Swanborough admitted being in the store but said he had the knife with him for his own protection.

He claimed he didn’t actually intend to use the knife and was upset about being accused of stealing from the store.

Swanborough was charged with threatening a person with a blade in a public place.

He was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, December 13) where he was handed eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Swanborough was also ordered to complete a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

PC Laura Pilling said: “Swanborough’s behaviour on the day was unacceptable and the incident could have been much worse.

“Members of the public should be able to go to the supermarket without fear of anti-social behaviour and crime.”

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.

It is also illegal to:
- sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.
- carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
- carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
- use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting