Man took 3ft machete to health centre

Sandwell Park. Picture by FRANK REID
Sandwell Park. Picture by FRANK REID

A man who booked himself into a crisis centre for a mental health assessment turned up carrying a machete.

Ashley Sorbey told staff he carried the 3ft-long weapon for protection, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Sorbey was jailed for 12 months for the offence, but the court heard he has been recalled to prison for a previous matter and will not be until January 2020.

“Mr Sorbey went to the Sandwell Park walk-in centre in Hartlepool,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.

“He reported having paranoid thoughts.

“Staff at the centre arranged an appointment for him for the next day to have a full assessment.

“He turned up for the appointment carrying a holdall in which there was a machete, which was about 3ft-long.”

The court heard Sorbey was agitated, and staff tried to calm him.

“Nurses saw what was in the bag,” added Ms Haigh. “Mr Sorbey said he wanted the bag back.

“He is a large man, and staff felt it best to return the bag to him before calling the police.

“Sorbey left, but later made an abusive phone call telling staff the police were all over his estate, and the helicopter was up looking for him.

“He was eventually found a few days later after being ejected from a pub for disorderly behaviour.”

Sorbey, 27, of Edgar Street, Hartlepool, admitted possessing an offensive weapon on January 20.

The court heard his previous convictions include offences of robbery and false imprisonment.

Martin Scarborough, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Sorbay has been recalled to prison on licence, and is not due for release until January 2020.

“Any sentence he receives today is unlikely to add to the time he will spend in custody.

“It should be said on his behalf he did not produce the machete, or threaten anyone with it.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Sorbey for 12 months.

The judge told him: “It may be this sentence is in some ways academic, given your position of being recalled.

“My job is to pass the appropriate sentence for this offence, which is what I’ve done.

“Your release from recall is for other authorities to decide.”

The judge ordered the machete to be confiscated and destroyed.