A MAN has been jailed after a CCTV operator spotted him walking around Bolton town centre with a machete.

Amadou Ndiaye kept trying to hide the 18 inch long blade up his sleeve as he walked through the streets in the early hours of February 2.

Maria Brannan, prosecuting, told how a CCTV operator was keeping watch when, just before 3am, she spotted a man, later identified as 28-year-old Ndiaye, outside the Shots bar in Bradshawgate.

“He crossed Bradshawgate and as he did so she saw he had a large object in his hand which she believed to be a knife,” said Miss Brannan.

The operator lost sight of him until he reappeared on Deansgate at the junction with Mealhouse Lane and he pushed the knife against a wall.

Then she saw Nidaye again behind the Blue Boar pub where he pushed the knife against the wall again.

“On this occasion she could see he had pushed the knife up into his sleeve,” said Miss Brannan.

Police were called and Ndiaye, of no fixed address, dropped the machete near a phone box on Deansgate.

He was charged with possessing a blade in public but denied committing the offence, saying he had been drinking heavily with friends but had no knife.

He was convicted of the offence in his absence after failing to turn up for his trial before magistrates.

At the time he was subject to a community sentence after admitting affray in August last year when he threatened a neighbour by waving a hammer around and damaging property.

Mark Friend, defending, stressed that Ndiaye, who has been living and working in the UK for more than a decade, had not used the machete to threaten anyone.

“He was not brandishing it and, indeed, was seeking to conceal it,” said Mr Friend.

He added that, at the time, Ndiaye had lost his job, was homeless and not entitled to claim benefits.

While awaiting sentence he has been remanded in prison and Mr Friend said he has found it difficult.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Ndiaye to 14 months in prison.

The judge told Ndiaye: “You continue to deny that you were the person in possession of this large and dangerous looking machete despite the fact that, firstly, you have been identified on CCTV footage and, secondly, that you have been found guilty at a trial in the magistrates’ court.

“Having a weapon of this nature creates a very significant danger because of the risk that, if anything happens, it will be used. It would have carried with it the risk of serious injury.”