A HALESOWEN man who went to a town centre pub armed with a Stanley knife on Christmas Eve because he "heard voices" telling him to take it has walked free from court.

Kevin Willetts, who threatened a man with the knife during an argument in Picks, has been given a four month jail term suspended for a year.

The 43-year-old, of Instone Road, produced the knife and told a man he was arguing with, "I will Stanley you," said David Lees prosecuting.

The man said "Don't be stupid. Put it away" and Willetts slipped the knife back into his pocket, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Police were called and after his arrest Willetts told officers he had been mixing his medication with alcohol and heard voices telling him to take the knife for his own protection.

Malcolm Fowler defending said Willetts had been "mortified" by his actions after keeping out of trouble with the police for 14 years.

Mr Fowler said: "He had been urged by voices to take the knife with him, “He is a troubled and challenged man who has to wrestle with his problems."

Willetts admitted possessing a bladed article in a public place and was also placed on supervision for a year.

Recorder Adam Feest told him that people who brandished knives were normally sent straight into custody.

He said: "If you had used this knife on a victim you would have been looking at a sentence of ten or 12 years.

"This was a short time incident but that is no consolation to the man you threatened.

“It must have been very nasty indeed for him."

He warned Willetts: "If you ever carry a knife again it is very likely you will go straight to prison."