A man who brandished a meat cleaver and chased a trio in Civic has been released on partially suspended jail terms after a court heard he carried knives for protection triggered by his father's death.
Cody Thomas Watts, 22, fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday after pleading guilty to three possessing knife and weapon charges and two failures to appear as part of his bail.
Facts tendered to the court state police were patrolling the city in March when a group of people waved them down, pointing to Watts and saying "he's got a knife".
Police saw Watts, unemployed, near McDonald's on East Row and as they approached him, he told them: "I've got a knife, so what?" F--k those dogs."
After police arrested him, they asked him where the knife was and he said "in my f---ing pants, c---" before they found a meat cleaver-style blade about 18cm long, tucked down the front of his pants.
Three people who waved police down said Watts came up to them, lifted his shirt and flashed the meat cleaver's handle, asking them if they wanted to fight.
CCTV captured Watts then chasing the trio, brandishing the weapon and shouting threats of violence, including that he was going to stab and bash them.
Only one month earlier, on February 26, he brandished a kitchen knife - about 20cm long - during a heated argument with three people on Scott's Crossing.
When police found him in Braddon minutes later, they found two large kitchen knives and a boxcutter knife in the waistband of his pants.
The Supreme Court describes a knife like a loaded gun ... something that can be used by anyone immediately.Magistrate Glenn Theakston
In court, magistrate Glenn Theakston described the offending as "very alarming for all those present, including those being chased".
"It would've been alarming and damaging potentially to anyone watching," Mr Theakston said.
"There's just no excuse.
"The Supreme Court describes a knife like a loaded gun ... something that can be used by anyone immediately."
Mr Theakston cited Watts' nine previous failures to appear in court and one weapon possession.
He sentenced Watts to between one and two months' jail terms for the offences and backdated them to between July and mid October to account for his 105 days of pre-sentence custody.
Watts was released on Monday with the remainder of two jail terms set to finish on October 31 and November 14 suspended with a 12-month good behaviour order attached.
Earlier in the proceedings, the court heard Watts' childhood was marred by violence and drug issues that were compounded after his father's death in 2015.
He also experienced homelessness and suffered from a range of mental health issues.
During his time at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, he was disciplined after burning a fellow detainee's clothes.
Defence lawyer Georgia Le Couteur said the trio in Civic had been calling him names during the incident and that he carried knives after his father died in 2015.
"While Mr Watts accepts he should not have had the knives in his possession, he feels as though he must protect himself at all times," she said.
Prosecutor Crystal Holt said "members of the public have a right to feel safe while walking around Canberra, which was blatantly disregarded by the defendant when he produced the knives".
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