Man attacked office of South Shields MP brandishing lump of wood decked with fairy lights

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A former soldier who failed to attend court to be sentenced for attacking a South Tyneside MP’s office has been found – and remanded into custody.

Dylan Thompson, 33, was refused bail by District Judge Natalie Wortley, who warned he could be jailed when sentenced on Wednesday, January 19.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, full details of his attack on the constituency office of South Shields’ Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck were revealed for the first time.

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Prosecutor Alan Davison told the hearing Thompson attended seeking help with accommodation issues on Tuesday, November 16, with the MP thought not to be present.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

With immediate assistance unavailable, Thompson, of Anderson Street, South Shields, spat at a female staff member, his spittle hitting a Perspex separating screen.

The bearded ex-squaddie retreated outside but quickly returned waving a chunk of wood with fairy lights wrapped around it.

Mr Davison added: “He has gone to the front desk and complained about being homeless, which was explained to a female member of staff.

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“It was said that they couldn’t help him immediately, and he has become agitated and shouted and swore.

“While trying to leave, he spits at a Perspex screen in the office, and walks out.

“He returned a second or two later carrying a 3ft-long piece of wood, a garden ornament of some sort, wood with fairy lights on it.”

Thompson then gave an external office door a “good whack” and left the scene, being arrested soon afterwards.

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His attack led to charges of attempted criminal damage of the door, causing harassment, alarm or distress and possession of cannabis.

An earlier hearing was told the incident inside the office was directed at Mrs Lewell-Buck’s staff.

Mr Davison said Thompson was also arrested in Darlington on Thursday, November 11, for stealing £4 of coffee from the town’s Costa coffee branch.

When challenged, he bit a security guard’s arm, piercing the skin.

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For that attack, he admitted charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court the following day.

At that hearing, magistrates banned him from entering Darlington and adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report.

That report and one ordered by the South Tyneside court have yet to be started after Thompson failed to engage with the Probation Service.

He was due to be sentenced for both sets of charges on Monday, December 13, in South Tyneside but failed to attend court.

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David Forrester, defending, asked Judge Wortley to sentence without a report, saying Thompson did not want to be remanded.

He told her his likely sentence would be a community order or a suspended prison sentence.

From the dock, and referring to the pre-sentence report, Thompson, who has alcohol issues, said: “I will comply, I’ve just been going through a difficult time.”

Remanding him into custody, Judge Wortley said: “It seems to me this is a case where the court needs a pre-sentence report.

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“These are serious offences, and all options are open to the sentencing court, including custody and committal to the crown court.”

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