Knife threat to police officers

A DRUNKEN man who lunged at police officers with a bread knife was told he was “sensible enough” not to go to prison.

Fuming Adrian Walton had stormed out of his house carrying the blade after rowing with his ex-partner on New Year’s Eve last year.

A concerned passer-by alerted police who confronted the 27-year-old in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool.

He refused to put the knife down and lunged forward at police, who forced him on to the ground and arrested him.

Walton, of Raby Gardens, Hartlepool, admitted having an offensive weapon in a public place and affray.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years with 12 months supervision and 80-hours unpaid work.

Jacqueline Edwards, prosecuting, said Walton had been out drinking with his ex-partner and stormed out of his home in a rage.

Judge Peter Armstrong told Walton: “While in a temper you picked up the bread knife and left the house with it. It’s an unusual item to take.

“Police were called and because of the state you were in you were willing to take them on and refused to drop it, lunging at them with it.

“They had to draw their batons and CS gas and you were taken away. It was no doubt a frightening incident to those who witnessed it.

“Usually those who have knives in public go straight to prison and the current guideline is around 12 months. You couldn’t complain if I locked you up.

“But I think you are sensible enough to realise what has led you into this trouble.

“I give you an incentive to not get into any more trouble by suspending this sentence.”

Paul Cleasby, mitigating, admitted his client had “not covered himself in glory” and apologises for his “strange behaviour”.

Mr Cleasby added: “This is a man who can work hard and stay out of trouble, but on occasion he chooses the wrong option in tough situations.”