A DRINKER banned from a Co-op showed a terrified staff member a three foot machete he had had stuffed down the front of his trousers, a court heard.

Shane Taylor, 25, who had struck late at night in Blackburn, did it as a threat, as if to intimidate, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Taylor, who was living at the Salvation Army hostel, has been spared jail for the 'dangerous' incident, last September 18.

He had admitted possessing an offensive weapon and had been committed for sentence by Blackburn magistrates.

The defendant was given 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, with six months' supervision, by Judge Beverley Lunt.

Robert Elias, prosecuting, said at 11pm, an employee had finished work at the Co-op on Pickup Street and was chatting with a supervisor, when two men came towards them.

One started to approach and lifted up his top to expose the large black handle of what the worker thought was a knife.

The prosecutor said: “This scared him. He recognised the defendant as he had frequently been barred from the shop and they had had to call the police on several occasions.”

Mr Elias said officers attended the scene 10 minutes later after reports of a man with a knife on the street. Taylor was seen nearby and had a three foot machete down his pants.

The prosecutor said: “That really is an extremely large object to have pushed down the front of his trousers.”

Mr Elias said the defendant was questioned and told police he had been drinking since lunchtime.

He said he had gone past the Co-op and had seen staff members he had 'fallen out with' because he had been barred from the shop. He said he did not intend to remove the machete or use it.

The prosecutor added: “He does have previous convictions — a lot of drunk and disorderly. He clearly has a drink issue.”