Deranged knifeman Tasered
A deranged knifeman who terrified diners in a Hartlepool McDonald’s has been spared jail.
Staff at the branch in Burn Road, Hartlepool, called police after a customer became concerned about the behaviour of Halse, who was sitting alone in the restaurant on December 6.
He held a knife to his throat saying that he was not going back to Roseberry Park, a Middlesbrough psychiatric hospital.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told Teesside Crown Court that a lone officer talked Halse into lowering the knife, but was still concerned for his and others’ safety so used his Taser gun to subdue Halse.
Halse, who was accompanied in the dock by his a psychiatric nurse, was described in reports as extremely vulnerable, said Andrew Teate, defending.
He said that Halse was engaging well with his nurse and had no convictions since 2008.
Judge Stephen Ashurst said a psychiatrist felt Halse did not need to be detained under a hospital order, although he had life-long mental difficulties, including being a paranoid schizophrenic.
The judge told Halse: “You have responded well to your treatment in the community and there are a whole raft of arrangements to help you in the community and deal with your problems.
”The right sentence at this stage in your life is not to sentence you to a short prison sentence but to pass a longer period of treatment in the community.”
Halse, of Seaton Lane, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article. He was given a two-year community order, and to continue with his treatment in the community for his mental health problems.