A KNIFE-WIELDING man on a mobility scooter left Wirral shop workers terrified as he threatened to “kill” them.

Ian Murphy, 61, appeared in Liverpool Crown Court today (Tuesday, February 27) after pleading guilty to possessing a knife and an offensive weapon, threatening a person with a blade, assault by beating and using threatening and abusive words.

The court heard how on June 11, 2023 at around 10.30am Marus Jason Williams, a shop worker at the newsagents Go Local at The Crescent in Higher Bebington, attended Murphy’s address at Abbots Drive, Bebington to speak to him about accusations he had made about him stealing money from his customers.

Simon Leong, prosecuting, said Mr Williams had gone round to “resolve” the matter on Murphy’s doorstep but then an “argument broke out”.

Mr Leong said: “Mr Williams shouted at Mr Murphy to which Mr Murphy responded by hitting his knees with a retractable baton.

“Mr Williams returned to his shop but said he could barely walk and had bruising on his leg.”

The following day on June 12 at around 8.20am Mr Williams was outside Go Local talking to a customer when Murphy arrived on his mobility scooter wielding a five-inch white ceramic knife in his hand.

The court heard how Murphy shouted, “Get here, get here you t**t” at Mr Williams.

Murphy tried to get closer to Mr Williams, but a rail guard blocked him. Mr Williams then shouted to his colleague, Katheryn Willets, who was inside the shop to call the police to which Murphy replied calling him a “s**tbag”.

Mrs Willets who saw the defendant shouting while holding a knife, locked the door while trying to call the police, telling them she was “in fear”.

Mr Murphy shouted towards her: “I’ll f**king kill you. You better not be on the phone to the police. I’ll be back to kill you.”

The defendant then left the scene and made his way to Higher Bebington Health Centre where he cancelled his appointments and told the receptionist: “I am in a lot of trouble. I battered the paper boy.”

He then proceeded to tell her that he had brought a knife with him and for her “not to be scared”.

The receptionist called the police who arrived and arrested Murphy. They searched his mobility scooter where they recovered the knife and baton.

Murphy admitted to hitting Mr Williams with a baton but said it was because he was “fearful” of seeing him and he “panicked” and had drunk half a bottle of wine at around 4am that morning.

A victim impact statement read out to the court by Mr Leong on behalf of Mrs Willets heard how Murphy’s actions had caused “ongoing sleepless nights, nightmares and panic attacks” which left her “waking up in the night shouting”.

The statement read: “I never thought for one minute I would be put in a situation like I was with Murphy. My first thought wasn’t me it was my two children could be left without a mother.”

Mrs Willets added how she was more protective over her children due to the incident.

The statement continued: “It is extremely hard to accept what Murphy did to me. I hope in time I can come to peace with it.”

John Weate, defending, said: “Mr Murphy understands what a precarious situation he is in today.

“The events started with complainant attending defendants home address it wasn’t a spontaneous event. When he opened the door he felt threatened.

“The defendant foolishly took a knife with him and he very much regrets what he did. He did identify himself to police and showed them where the knife was when they arrived at the health centre.

“He has long-term issues with alcohol dependency. He understands the position he finds himself here today and has shown genuine remorse.

“He is extremely ashamed he finds himself in this position.

“He understands the underlying alcohol issues are from his childhood trauma and he needs to attain coping mechanisms.”

Sentencing, Recorder Mark Bradshaw said: “You went to the shop where Mr Williams worked brandishing a knife and shouting abuse. You tried to get closer but a guard rail prevented you. Mrs Willet looked outside and was understandably in fear of you.

“You said you felt fearful of Mr Williams which is why you took weapons as protection out with you the next day in case you saw Mr Williams again.

“The victim impact statement read out in court is quite frankly chilling listening hearing how she feared that her two children could have been left without a mother.

“You have 13 convictions for 29 offences, some violent.

“I note you have expressed regret and are motivated to get help for your mental health and alcoholism.

“These offences are very serious ones - anyone who does what you have done should expect to receive a custodial sentence but I believe there is a realistic chance of your rehabilitation.”

Murphy was sentenced to 23 months in prison suspended for two years. He has to complete a six month mental health treatment and alcohol rehabilitation.

He was also handed a five-year restraining order for Mrs Willets which forbids him from contacting her and entering Go Local.