NEIGHBOURS enjoying a party for the 75th anniversary of VE Day were shocked to see a man emerge from his flat brandishing a knife.

Blackburn magistrates heard witnesses described Richard Balderson as an “angry” man, shouting and swearing and waving the knife.

Two women told police said they had been extremely frightened by his behaviour.

Balderson, 30, of Berkeley Square, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to affray. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 15 days' rehabilitation. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation to each of the female witnesses and £85 costs.

Janice Vallance, prosecuting, said residents of Berkeley Square were enjoying a street party at around 5.45pm on May 8.

The two female witnesses were talking to each other when they saw Balderson hanging out of his upstairs window. He was bare-chested, shouting and swearing.

“He left the window and then appeared on the street where they were standing,” said Miss Vallance.

“He was waving a large kitchen knife, shouting and swearing and both women said they were very frightened.”

Daniel Frazer, defending, said at the time of the offence his client was isolated from his family because of Covid-19.

“It was a stressful time for him and without his support network and things became tense,” said Mr Frazer.

“He realises his behaviour must have been very upsetting and frightening for the people who witnessed it but thankfully it was a very brief incident.”

Mr Frazer said his client had no previous convictions.

“On this day things just overwhelmed him and he had an outburst which was completely out of character,” said Mr Frazer.

“He has been back at his flat for six weeks now and there has been no further problems.

“He has not apologised because of bail conditions to which he has been subject but wishes to do that, through me, today.”