An armed Fife man who leaped out of a taxi and caused two men to flee for their lives, before standing over one of them threatening to stab him, has been jailed for almost three years.
Bradley Nieuwenhuizen, 33, saw his chance to settle a score with Gilbert Lowe and Scott Strang when he spotted the pair walking along the street in Leven on the morning of June 13 last year.
After telling the taxi driver to stop because he needed money, Nieuwenhuizen pursued Mr Strang and Mr Lowe with two knives in Sandwell Street, Buckhaven, and after the latter tripped and fell, pointed one of the blades at him and shouted: “I’ll f*****g do you.”
Although he didn’t carry out his threat, Nieuwenhuizen then subjected police officers to abuse on various occasions and even feigned a collapse which necessitated a visit to accident and emergency at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard Nieuwenhuizen, of Holburn Place, Rosyth, had also gone behind the bar after being refused alcohol at the Golden Acorn pub in Glenrothes on March 15, going on to punch a barman, before throwing a table and further punches at a female member of staff.
Sheriff James Williamson sentenced him to a combined total of 34 months imprisonment.
Fiscal Ronnie Hay said Lowe and Strang had both been “absolutely petrified” and had “run for their lives” after they saw Nieuwenhuizen get out of the taxi holding what looked like a large kitchen knife.
Nieuwenhuizen let them go but when he was tracked down to an address in Durie Street, Leven, at 8.20am, he was extremely volatile towards officers who took him into custody.
Mr Hay added Nieuwenhuizen then slumped to the floor of the cage of the police vehicle, apparently unwell.
“He seemed unresponsive but when paramedics arrived the accused jumped up and was aggressive again.
“It was the officers’ opinion that he had feigned the comatose condition.”
After trying to spit at officers, Nieuwenhuizen continued to shout and swear on the journey to Victoria Hospital, levelling homophobic abuse at officers.
That attitude continued at hospital, where Mr Hay said Nieuwenhuizen had been “ignorant” towards doctors and nurses.
“All the staff were annoyed by his behaviour, and he was repeatedly shouting that he wanted to stab witness Lowe,” Mr Hay added.
The fiscal added at one point Nieuwenhuizen shouted while struggling with officers: “I can play the black man too.”
That appeared to be an apparent reference to the death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody.
Defence solicitor David Bell said his client had been using alcohol and Valium as a “kind of erroneous coping mechanism” and had moved through to the Dunfermline area because of threats made towards him.
He said he had the knives because he was “extremely paranoid” about what had happened to him in the Levenmouth area but had no intent of stabbing Mr Lowe.
“He said it was a rush of blood and a moment of madness.
“Witnesses describe my client as effectively standing over him with a knife, so it was a perfect opportunity to do that (stab him) but he didn’t. He walked away and left Mr Lowe on the ground.”
Mr Bell also said his client, who was working as a landscape labourer, felt police had been “pretty rough” with him while applying leg restraints.