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Jian Chen, owner of Downham Market’s Top Dinner Chinese takeaway, seen running down road with cleaver in hand

A Chinese takeaway owner is awaiting his fate after he was seen carrying a cleaver near a town’s rail station.

Jian Chen, 43, of Railway Road in Downham, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday where he admitted carrying a knife or blade in a public place.

The court heard that Chen is the owner of Top Dinner Chinese takeaway in Downham and was seen by a member of the public on April 4 leaving the shop with a cleaver in his hand.

Chen was seen running down Railway Road with a cleaver in his hand. Picture: Google Maps
Chen was seen running down Railway Road with a cleaver in his hand. Picture: Google Maps

The witness heard an argument break out outside of her property on Railway Road and saw Chen holding the large kitchen knife and that it looked like he was “looking for someone”.

She then saw him running down the road towards Downham’s rail station.

A woman was then seen standing outside the takeaway, beckoning Chen to come back inside.

He did so, but soon went on Railway Road again with the cleaver in his hand.

The police were called and Chen was subsequently arrested. CCTV footage was reviewed which showed him running with the knife.

In mitigation, George Sorrell said that Chen felt “threatened” by somebody who had come into his shop.

“His wife and two children were in the premises,” said Mr Sorrell.

“He felt threatened himself, it was the end of the day for his business and there was a certain amount of panic in his mind.”

By committing this offence, Chen put himself at risk of receiving a custodial sentence.

Mr Sorrell urged magistrates to allow for a pre-sentence report to be carried out by the probation service first.

“His wife could not run the business by herself and there would be no income for her and their two children,” Mr Sorrell added.

Magistrates agreed that a pre-sentence report should be carried out. Chen will return to court at a later date.

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