A burglar pulled a knife on another man outside Queenstown’s court, moments after appearing in the dock.
Sam Johns, 25, of Whangarei, brandished the knife after a slanging match in the court waiting room spilled outside.
But a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman says in an emailed statement no one in the court was at risk.
“The individual went through the court screening station [metal detector] where no items were found during screening.
“Upon leaving, the individual recovered a small pocket knife located in a garden area outside of the court.”
Sergeant Kate Saxton, at the court on Monday, says Johns knew the other man and had a “verbal altercation” in the court-house on August 23.
That continued outside on Stanley Street later.
Saxton says: “He removed a folding-lock knife from his pocket and showed it to the male, then left the scene.”
Police caught up with Johns at Lakes District Hospital.
He denied threatening the man but told police the knife was for his own protection. He claims he has a history of altercations with the man.
Johns was convicted of possessing a knife in public without a reasonable excuse and the two original charges for which he appeared in August – entering a Wanaka hostel with intent to commit an imprisonable offence, and breaking and damaging the window of another hostel.
His case was transferred to Whangarei District Court for sentencing on November 25.