Hatfield man admits affray after stabbing friend with pen-knife in town centre fight

PUBLISHED: 17:39 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 25 October 2018

Police at the scene of the fight in Hatfield.  Picture: Adam Law

Police at the scene of the fight in Hatfield. Picture: Adam Law

Archant

A Hatfield man who admitted being involved in a fight in Hatfield town centre told a judge today that he was going to try to “clean up his act”.

Police cordons were in place in Hatfield.  Picture: Adam LawPolice cordons were in place in Hatfield. Picture: Adam Law

Nicholas Pitts, who has 31 convictions for 55 offences, stabbed a friend with a pen-knife in a row over a missing bank card.

The 37-year-old appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court via a video link from Bedford prison having admitted affray and possessing an offence weapon.

Prosecutor Sarah Porter said the victim, who suffered an inch-wide and inch-and-a-half-deep cut to his thigh, did not want to come to court.

She offered no evidence on a wounding charge.

Police were called to the scene in Hatfield.  Picture: Adam LawPolice were called to the scene in Hatfield. Picture: Adam Law

Ms Porter said Pitts, of Stockbreach Road, Hatfield was involved in a “misunderstanding” with the friend over a bank card that had gone missing on June 24 this year.

A fight broke out in Hatfield town centre and Pitts pulled out a pen-knife with a three to four-inch blade, causing the injury.

In a police interview he said he acted in self-defence.

Andrew Corcut, defending, said the victim had thrown the first punch and Pitts, who suffers with deep vein thrombosis, ended up of the ground.

He said Pitts used the knife, which he was carrying to mend his step-daughter’s bike.

After that he left the scene and did not follow it up.

Since being remanded in custody after his arrest, Pitts had made good use of his time and was a “trusted prisoner”, the court heard.

Judge Nigel Lithman QC jailed him for 10 months.

The time he has already served means he will be released in a few weeks.

The judge told him: “The strongest mitigation is your guilty plea.

“This was a classic affray - anyone coming across it would have been absolutely terrified.

“You have a few weeks to go (in prison) and I hope you can stay away from the criminal offending.”

Pitts, who is a qualified electrician, thanked the judge and said: “I am going to try my hardest to clean my act up.”

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