Man chased policeman with broomstick in row over stolen money

Robert Thornton has been jailed for a year after wielding a broomstick during an angry row with his uncle.
Robert Thornton has been jailed for a year after wielding a broomstick during an angry row with his uncle.

A man who chased after his policeman uncle with a broomstick in a furious row over stolen family cash has been put behind bars.

Robert Thornton was confronted at his mother's home by his uncle over money that had gone missing from his grandparent's home, in March.


Newcastle Crown Court heard the row erupted to the point that the pair ended up in the street, where Thornton called his uncle a "pig", shouted foul language and started violently swinging a broom handle he had picked up.


The uncle had to leave the scene after all attempts at calming the situation down failed.


Thornton, of Tynemouth Road, Primrose, Jarrow, who has previous convictions and was on a suspended sentence at the time, pleaded guilty to affray.


The 33-year-old faces no charges in relation to the stolen money and denies any involvement in it going missing.


Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to 12 months behind bars.


The judge told Thornton: "Your uncle had a genuine belief you had taken the money and an argument ensued between you.


"It is quite clear to me you have an anger management problem.


"You chased after him with a three foot wooden broom handle, shouting and swearing at him, swinging the handle from ten feet away.


"He had to run away to stop this unpleasant disorder in the street."


The judge said Thornton had described himself as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character in situations of confrontation.


Michelle Stonley, defending, said Thornton had been "extremely upset" by the accusation that he would steal from his grandmother.


Miss Stonley added: "He didn't go out seeking trouble that day, it actually came to his house.


"There is no suggestion he took the money."