Man threatened with knife in Cromford

A man has told how he was threatened by a knife- wielding thug following a trip to his local shop in Cromford.

Ben Thomsett, who moved to the area from Lincolnshire one year ago, was talking on his mobile phone when he was confronted.

“This man stuck his arm out in front of me and shouted ‘are you going to give me a problem?’,” Ben said.

Ben told his increasingly worried partner who he had been speaking to that he would call back and hung up the phone.

“I was contemplating getting a punch thrown at me when his hand went into his hoodie and re-appeared with a knife,” said Ben.

As a former high security prison officer, Ben has experienced having a knife pulled on him before, but had believed those days were behind him.

“In my distant memory I remembered what I’d been trained to do while working in prison and put both my hands upwards in a nonthreatening gesture and calmly told him that I presented him no harm,” Ben said.

After a little more commotion, Ben was able to “calmly back away” enough to get out of range of him.

At that point Ben’s attacker staggered off and he was able to phone police, who arrived about seven minutes later and arrested a man.

“I spent three hours in the police station giving a very thorough statement. They took me back home and promised to ring me later to tell me what he had been charged with,” said Ben.

“So I sat, seething with anger on my sofa.

“It’s not a nice feeling when something like this has just happened to you. You feel useless, violated, and it’s a very hard task to stop yourself thinking about it.”

At 10.30pm that night, August 7, a police officer rang Ben to say a man had been cautioned for threatening behaviour and released him back into the community.

He said: “I’m sad that this happened in my village, but I left it at that.

“It makes you realise knives have flooded our streets. I certainly am a lot more tense after the events in recent weeks.”