A man who waved a knife in a doctor’s surgery after being unable to get an appointment has been jailed.
Liam Campbell told staff in the surgery in Wynyard Road, Hartlepool, he was scared he was going to hurt someone, Teesside Crown Court heard.
The court heard Campbell was coming off drugs at the time after having a problem with substance abuse since he was 11-years-old.
“The staff were distressed by what he did and called the police,” said Kevin Ross, prosecuting. “Campbell ran off, and police received another report of a man with a knife in nearby Wynyard Mews.
“When arrested, Campbell told police: “You have to arm yourself when there are four of them after you”.
“In his later interview, he told police he had produced the knife in the surgery as a cry for help after being unable to get an appointment.”
Campbell, 28, admitted possession of a bladed article on February 26, and possession of a class B drug.
He has 53 previous convictions, including three offences of possessing an offensive weapon.
Matthew Collins, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Campbell has a long-standing drugs problem which, on his account, started when he was 11-years-old.
“The small amount of cannabis found when he was arrested was for his personal use.
“Shortly before the knife offence, Mr Campbell had come off heroin and methadone.
“He then went into a self-enforced attempt at complete withdrawal from all drugs.
“This led to feelings of paranoia and the belief he was going to be attacked.
“In the cold light of day, he accepts those feelings were fanciful, and he knows that whatever his condition, he went the wrong way about tackling it.”
Judge Howard Crowson jailed Campbell, of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, for nine months.
The judge told him: “When people carry knives, other people get hurt.
“What you did would have been very frightening and distressing for the staff in the surgery, and for anyone in the street.
“Whatever your condition, it doesn’t justify doing what you did.”
The knife was confiscated and will be destroyed.