A Cupar man who was seen brandishing a meat cleaver after he was challenged to fight has been told his actions could have resulted in serious injury or death.
Hugh Cape (48) was jailed for six months after previously admitting that on March 14, in Bishopgate, Cupar, he was in possession of the weapon in a public place.
Depute fiscal Brian Robertson told the court the incident began when Cape received text messages from another Cupar man who wanted to be supplied with drugs.
The man had turned up on Cape’s doorstep and was told to leave, but Cape than received a message challenging him to fight.
He went out with the weapon, and there was a heated argument which ”moved along the street”.
It was witnessed by a householder who saw Cape brandishing the meat cleaver and moving it backwards and forwards.
The witness was so concerned that she dialled 999, and police attended and spoke to the accused.
Cape said there had been no intention of using the weapon, and it was there just to scare the other man.
Describing the cleaver, the depute fiscal said it was 12 inches long, with a blade eight inches long and four and half inches deep.
Defence solicitor Douglas Williams said Cape had been cutting up a pineapple with the cleaver before he took it out with him.
Mr Williams said it was ”entirely accepted” that if someone was smacked on the head with the cleaver significant damage could be caused, and the results could be lethal.
He also said, though, that during the incident the cleaver had been dropped by the accused, and it was not used.
Cape, he said, had gone out because he wanted to take the spectre of violence away from his front door.
The accused, he said, had been involved with drugs but was no longer interested in dealing them, and was said by his GP to be stable on prescription medication. The GP had also said the offence was out of character, and Cape would be fit to undertake unpaid work as part of a community sentence.
Sheriff Charles Macnair, however, said Cape had gone out with a ”vicious weapon.” If it had been used on anyone, he said, it would have been likely to cause serious injury or even death.
”The carrying of weapons of this sort in public cannot be tolerated. If someone goes out not meaning to use it, that intention can change. If it gets dropped someone else can pick it up and use it.
”Many people have been seriously injured or killed by weapons taken out for defensive purposes and with no intention to kill.”
Sheriff Macnair said that there was no alternative to a custodial sentence and jailed Cape, of Well Place, for six months.