Man who walked streets with 10-inch knife given suspended sentence

David Burnett appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
David Burnett appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

A man took to the streets with a knife after he was threatened over the internet, magistrates were told.

David Burnett, 30, of Belsay Avenue, South Shields, was seen by neighbours bare chested and carrying a large kitchen knife late on New Year’s Day.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, told South Tyneside Magistrates Court: “It was about 11.15pm and neighbours heard a commotion and saw Mr Burnett, bare-chested, with a 10-inch kitchen knife in his hand.

“He went back inside his house, them emerged again without the knife. Police were called and he was arrested.

“When interviewed, Mr Burnett told the police he had been carrying the knife for his own safety. He said he had been drinking all day, and agreed what he had done was stupid.”

Burnett admitted possession of bladed article in public.

Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said: “The background to this offending is threats made to Mr Burnett on Facebook.

“He was told he would be ‘stabbed up’ and his house burned down. This was particularly distressing for Mr Burnett because he lives at home and saw the Facebook messages as threats against his mother as well as him.”

Burnett was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £200 costs.

The knife was confiscated and will be destroyed.