Man found near air base with gun, axe and lock knife sentenced
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A “Walter Mitty” character who was dressed in camouflage clothing and carrying an air rifle and a rucksack containing a small axe and a lock knife near a Suffolk US air base has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sentencing Carl Robinson on Tuesday, May 4, Judge Emma Peters said: “Sadly in these days of terrorism anyone seen dressed and armed in the way you were would result in the loudest of alarm bells ringing and responses being activated.”
Robinson was due to have been sentenced in March but the case was adjourned after it emerged he had been lying about being in the armed forces.
On that occasion Ipswich Crown Court heard how 38-year-old Robinson had lied to a probation officer and to a doctor during a psychiatric assessment by claiming many of his issues were as a result of his army service.
His barrister Adam Norris told Judge Peters that following a "frank" discussion with his client, the lies had come to light.
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Mr Norris said Robinson had never been in the army and was in fact an "alcoholic fantasist", who had been addressing his alcohol issues with charity Turning Point.
Robinson, of Riverside Way, Brandon, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm in a public place and two charges of possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place.
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He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, an alcohol treatment programme and a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs.
Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting, said Robinson was stopped in Brandon not far from USAF Lakenheath in September 2019, dressed in camouflage clothing, with an air rifle wrapped in a cloth and a rucksack on his back.
When police searched his rucksack a lock knife and a small axe were discovered.
Robinson said he had been doing some survivalist training in Brandon Wood, and was hoping to get back into the army.
Isobel Ascherson, representing Robinson at Tuesday's hearing, described him as a “Walter Mitty” character and said he needed help for alcohol and mental health issues.
She said there had been no risk of him harming anyone.