A GARDENER cutting grass felt intimidated by threats of a man carrying a meat cleaver in his waist band asking, “for a go” on his mobile lawn mower, a court heard.

The gardener was working for a client in Bede Avenue, Gilesgate, Durham, when he was approached by a group of youths and young people, including Bailey Decaprio, at 2.30pm on June 9, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told the gardener got off the mower and removed the key as Decaprio, who he described as appearing, “up and down”, asked to have a go.

When he was refused, Decaprio tried to push it and the gardener told him in had a tracker device fitted.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said the defendant showed the gardener a meat cleaver protruding from his waist band and threatened to “cut him up”.

The gardener tried to shake his hand to calm Decaprio due to his unpredictable demeanour.

As the group went into a nearby house the gardener rang for police and, while packing his van to leave, heard Decaprio boasting to two females about his threats.

The gardener said he felt intimidated by Decaprio, who appeared to be in possession of beer cans during the confrontation and feared he could use the weapon.

Decaprio was arrested and denied the allegations, claiming he had no meat cleaver.

He refused to take part in an identity parade and claimed his dna was on the mower as he may have touched it accidentally.

Appearing via video link from Holme House Prison, Stockton, where he is serving a 27-month sentence imposed for robbing a homeless man, weeks after the incident, last June, Decaprio admitted possession a knife or bladed article in public.

Tony Davis, mitigating, agreed it was a further example of the “boorish” behavious displayed many times in recent years by Decaprio.

But he said the now 23-year-old defendant, formerly of Wakenshaw Road, Gilesgate, has been liaising with the prison drug and alcohol addiction agency and “looks a great deal better” than on his last court appearance.

Judge James Adkin told Depario his offending just appeared, “to go on and on”.

“You often target complete strangers and I take the view you are a very dangerous and disinhibited young man, and, the public deserve protection from you.”

He imposed a 15-month sentence, but only to begin when his existing 27-month sentence comes to an end later this year.