Hartlepool teen threatened to stab cops in hostel row

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A TEENAGER armed with two knives who threatened to stab police has been spared jail.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Darren Watson, 19, displays terrifying spells of anger and threats because he has untreated Aspergers Syndrome.

Watson was living at a hostel for homeless young people in Hartlepool when he went berserk and he threatened to kill a woman manager and police who were called to deal with him.

But he walked free from court after his mother said that she had offered him a home with his family.

Watson, now of Ibbotson Street, Hartlepool, was given a 12 months community order after he pleaded guilty to assault, possessing an offensive weapon and a public order offence.

But he was warned by Judge Howard Crowson that he will be sent to jail if he finds himself back in trouble.

Prosecuting, Sue Jacobs said that Watson armed himself with two six-inch kitchen knives at Gainford House, Hartlepool, on September 19 after losing his temper when another resident failed to repay a debt.

The hostel manager tried to calm him down but he began kicking doors and attempted to get into her locked office.

She went out to try to calm him, but he became more angry and aggressive.

Another manager called the police but Watson responded: “I’m going to stab the first police officer I see and I’m going to stab you too.”

Police managed to handcuff him but his aggressive behaviour continued as he was being driven to the police station.

Peter Wishlade, defending, said that it was remarkable how many places Watson had been asked to leave because of his behaviour.

He added: “His mother tells me that in the past he has been diagnosed with Asbergers Syndrome and undoubtedly he needs help.

“The family are prepared initially to accommodate him.

“He has little recollection of the offences, but he does remember collecting the knives.

“He clearly does in my submission need assistance,someone has to address his problems. He has been in custody for 20 days and he does not wish to repeat it. His family want to obtain specialist treatment for him, and clearly prison is not the place for him at the present time.”

Judge Howard Crowson told Watson that his initial decision had been to impose a prison sentence of 11 months.

He said: “The trouble is that if you don’t control your anger there may come a time when someone may take steps that might cause a violent event that you did not want to happen.

“Normally people who wave knives around go straight into custody.”

“If you don’t behave for the probation officer you will be brought back to me, and if you commit another offence you will be brought back to me and you will start with 11 months.”