A MAN who grabbed a knife from someone arguing in the street ended up being arrested after making threats with the blade himself.
Graham Hull tried to calm down a potentially explosive situation between two men and grabbed a large knife from one of them.
But Hull later became aggressive while brandishing the knife when he tied to take a second blade from the same man, which Hull said was a relative.
Hull also alarmed shoppers when he went inside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Murray Street, Hartlepool, looking for the second man involved while holding the knife he had just seized.
When Hull went back outside he saw the same man had another knife and tried to take that off him.
Sue Jacobs, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “During the second incident the defendant threatened to use force and accepts people feared for their personal safety.”
Hull, 32, was originally charged with possession of a knife in public and spent three months in prison on remand.
But the prosecution accepted an alternative guilty plea to affray when the case was due to go to trial.
The court heard how Hull was inside a house when he heard an altercation between two men in the street and went to see what was happening and to calm things down.
John Gillette, mitigating, said: “This was an incident that occurred for the best of motives.
“He went initially as peacemaker to calm things down, perhaps not aware at the outset that a knife was involved.
“As he left the shop things escalated and he crossed the line. He accepts the effect this will have had on others.”
Hull, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, was given a 12-month community order with 12-months supervision.
Judge Les Spittle said: “Had this been a case where you had taken a knife for the purpose of joining in some fracas or altercation you would be going to prison for quite some time as we will not countenance people having knives in public.
“But that’s not the case. Although it was not a very wise thing to try to disarm people that’s what you did. What went wrong is that you over-reacted at the end and turned into a person exhibiting threatening behaviour and threatening force yourself.”