A MAN caught carrying a glass bottle as a weapon in Widnes town centre has been sentenced by the courts.

Mathew Gillings also admitted that his actions earlier this year were threatening and caused a fear of violence.

The 37-year-old appeared in court charged with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence.

He was sentenced at Warrington Magistrates’ Court, where he appeared without legal representation, having pleaded guilty to both counts at a previous hearing.

The court heard from James Gore, on behalf of the prosecution, how both offences were committed on January 20 this year.

Gillings was in Victoria Square while in possession of an offensive weapon in the form of a glass bottle.

He also used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to others with intent to cause them to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against them.

Magistrates remarked that there were a number of aggravating factors meaning that a custodial sentence was appropriate.

These were the severity of the incident and the facts that alcohol was involved, serious distress was caused and a weapon was used.

However, taking into account his guilty pleas and a determination from the probation service that he is a ‘prospect for rehabilitation’, the sentence was not made immediate.

Gillings, of Ireland Street in Widnes, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months.

During this time, he must complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 100 hours of unpaid work and a 120-day alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement.

In addition, he must pay costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of £85 and a statutory victim surcharge of £154, while magistrates approved an application for the forfeiture and destruction of the glass bottle.