A 29-year-old man has been jailed for terrorising a group of children with an 18-centimetre machete in a High Wycombe park, a court heard on Wednesday.

Filip Rudkowski, 29, was sentenced to 13 months in prison after he admitted to swinging the weapon around at the children, who dived into a road to get out of his way during the terrifying incident on July 7 near the London Road.

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Rudkowski, who is originally from Poland, claimed to have found the machete lying on the ground in the park and put it in his rucksack, a story which was slammed as ‘unbelievable’ by a judge.

A crown prosecutor said: "A witness saw the defendant pass his car on the near side, walking towards the retail park junction.

“He had a rucksack on his shoulder and was carrying a can of cider.

"He was being followed by a number of children on bikes a couple of metres behind him.

“They appeared to be saying something to him and he appeared to be saying something back to them.

“They appeared to be taunting him, to which he was reacting.

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"Mr Rudkowski was seen to reach into the rucksack with his right hand and pull out what is described as a machete, approximately 18 centimetres by three centimetres.

"At this stage, the children who were gathered around him started to back off.

“Some of them moved into the road and the witness saw Mr Rudkowski wave the knife at the children, as if he was threatening to use it on them."

Police attended the scene where Rudkowski attempted to get rid of the weapon in a nearby river, but officers at the scene near a retail park on London Road and saw the machete in the water, which was recovered.

The court also heard how Rudkowski, who had six previous convictions, had been on bail at the time after he was found by police with a three-inch lock knife on March 15 on Birds Cage Walk in the town, which he claimed he had found while rifling through bins.

Defending Rudkowski, Iwona Boesche told how her alcoholic client had a rehabilitation programme paid for in Poland, which he had been due to attend but did not because he was arrested.

Ms Boesche said: "He committed the most serious offence, the one in July, when he was drunk.

“He is an alcoholic and he relapsed.

“He would drink in the park where kids saw him and laughed at him.

"On his instructions, he also found the machete lying in the park."

The judge told Ms Boesche her client would need to have a Newton Hearing, where the truth of his claim that he had found the knife could be decided, if he stuck by the story.

Judge Francis Sheridan, sentencing at Aylesbury Crown Court, said: "I do not believe you search through the rubbish, find a lock knife on the other occasion, you get arrested, bailed and then go to the park, you find a machete lying around, you pick it up, put it in your rucksack and then the next time you are seen you are brandishing it at children.

“I do not believe it.

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"Of all the places to search in the whole of High Wycombe, it is said that you just happened to search or come across two places where there were weapons.

“I offered a Newton Hearing to resolve that if that was to seriously pursued and that offer was declined.

“I therefore sentence you on the prosecution facts.

Rudkowski was jailed on two counts of possessing a bladed article in a public place, which he had admitted.

He was to be deported after he was released and disqualified from returning to the UK.