An axe-carrying student who scared a pregnant woman in a South Tyneside street while wearing a ‘killer clown’ mask will learn his fate at a later date.
Michael March’s victim, who was 22 weeks into her pregnancy, was so frightened by his “prank” in Sea Road, South Shields, that she picked up a brick to defend herself.
The court heard March banged an axe on the ground in front of her.
The 18-year-old wanted to “scare people” during the ‘Killer Clown’ craze just before Halloween.
At the time, there were a series of similar incidents around the country.
March was due to be sentenced by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court today, but because of a problem with the charge he faces, his case has been sent back to South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
It is due to be heard some time before January 9.
March, who has never been in trouble before, had pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon at a previous hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The crown court heard today that the offence he admitted implies an intention to use the weapon.
The prosecuting authorities accept he did not.
Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, told the court: “He wanted to scare people, not injure them. He has pleaded guilty to an offence he has not committed.”
Vic Laffey, defending, told the court the correct charge in this case would be possessing a bladed article.
Mr Laffey added: “This isn’t an offensive weapon case.”
Mr Recorder Philip Kramer said the case should be remitted back to the magistrates’ court.
At that point, March can make an application to change his plea.
March, of Hopedene, Leam Lane, Gateshead, was arrested after he was tracked down using CCTV.
The alarm was raised after a call to the police on October 30 about a clown carrying an axe and scaring people.
It was claimed March had ran off with a pal after the “prank”.