A MAN accused of brandishing a ten-inch knife is to stand trial after arguing he acted in self-defence.

Darren Harris, of Smiths Field, Colchester, appeared before magistrates on Tuesday to deny possessing a knife in a public place and using threatening words with intent to cause fear or violence.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard how police were called by a neighbour who told them Harris allegedly said “I’ll slice you in half” to the complainant Joseph Wildman.

The incident took place in August last year.

Harris told the police when they attended that he was acting in self-defence and had grabbed the knife to defend himself.

After denying the charges, Harris told magistrates he wished to stand trial before a jury in a crown court.

Chair of the bench Jacky Froggett said: “You have elected jury trial for possession of a bladed article in a public place.

“Your first hearing will be when they set the trial date – that will be on Tuesday, April 30.

“Until that date, you will be on conditional bail, so you haven’t got any particular limitations.”

Should the trial go ahead, it will take place at Ipswich Crown Court.