Man admits putting lives at risk after damaging gas meter and piping in South Shields

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A MAN has admitted he put lives at risk when he sparked a gas alert that led to 34 families being evacuated from their homes.

Michael Bays spread fear among his neighbours at Trinity Walk, in South Shields, when he damaged a gas meter and piping on March 3.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, the 25-year-old pleaded guilty to damaging property, being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, and possession of amphetamine.

Bays, who had been on bail since the incident, was remanded in custody at his own request and will be sentenced next month.

His barrister Tom Moran told the court; “He would like to be remanded in custody.

“One of his issues, which he has awareness of, is a serious drink problem and he sees the benefit to himself in being remanded in custody.”

Bays had asked to be sentence at the short hearing, despite his barrister’s 
admission that it was a “worrying case”.

But the judge said: “I am afraid a charge of this nature is really very serious.

“I cannot pass sentence without, at least, a pre-sentence report.

“I will remand him in custody at his request.”

Bays, of Trinity Walk, shouted goodbye to friends in the public gallery as he was led into custody by the dock officer.

Residents in the area were temporarily evacuated from their homes when Bays damaged his meter, but were allowed back in after emergency services made the situation safe.