Man took three knives into Ye Olde Ferrie Inn, Symonds Yat

A MAN experiencing a manic episode entered a Herefordshire pub carrying three knives after hiking to the river Wye with his guitar.

Timothy Watts, 55, was in a “manic” state as he walked around the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire countryside with knives measuring over three inches before entering a pub in Symonds Yat. 

On September 5 last year, he had an “urge” to go on a hike from his home in Drybrook, a village in the Forest of Dean, to Symonds Yat, a Wye Valley beauty spot, so that he could play his guitar by the riverside.

After playing his guitar and drinking beer and lemonade at the nearby Saracens Head pub, he went into Ye Olde Ferrie Inn asking for a taxi, where the landlord spotted his knives and called the police.

His interaction with the pub landlord was described as a series of “alarming manic mutterings”.

Prosecutor Owen Beale said that there were no allegations of Watts trying to use the knives, and that one was on the waistband of his trousers, and the other two in his rucksack.

A sentencing hearing at Hereford Magistrates’ Court in February heard Watts was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 and had been experiencing a manic episode at the time of the incident, which left him “traumatised”.

The court heard in mitigation from defence solicitor Chris Aggrey that Watts had previously been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Watts previously worked as a corporate analyst for 28 years, with the stress of the job being said to have caused the onset of his bipolar.

Mr Aggrey said that the defendant’s mental health difficulties had contributed to the incident as he “didn’t feel very well”. Watts was said to be “petrified” about his court appearance, having had no previous convictions.

Watts claimed he had brought the knives on his hike anticipating that he would need to clear undergrowth on his way to Symonds Yat.


Watts, who now lives at Farriers Reach, Bishops Cleeve, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a knife blade in a public place. 

His knives were ordered to be destroyed, and he was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 50 days of rehabilitation activities aimed at supporting his mental health and helping him find employment.

Watts was fined £100 and ordered to pay a £114 victim surcharge.

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