Man brandished machete at South Shields petrol station after panicking over sight of alleged enemy
Callum White, 23, grabbed the blade from his car at the Moor Lane fuel stop in Harton Village, South Shields, after seeing someone he suspected as a potential aggressor.
White, of Essex Gardens, South Shields, did so in front of other customers and in full view of CCTV on Thursday, March 12, a court heard.
It was alleged he acted out of fear after a man known to him and who had attacked his grandfather’s home and threatened his sister and her partner, drove in.
Police viewed the security footage and White was arrested, with checks also showing he was driving without a licence and insurance.
Magistrates in South Tyneside jailed him for four months but suspended the sentence for 18 months.
Prosecutor Grace Taylor said: “Police responded to an incident of a male on the forecourt, in possession of a knife.
“Officers attended the witness’s home and the witness named the defendant as the male responsible.
“Officers went to the garage and seized CCTV, which showed the defendant drive on to the forecourt.
“He got the machete from his car and wielded it around and pointed it at the victim, who was on the forecourt.
“Other people were at the garage and came on to the forecourt while he was wielding the weapon.
‘A PNC check showed that the defendant had no licence or insurance. He was interviewed but gave no comment.”
Amy Hossack, defending, said White had been using the machete to cut down trees and had been at the garage buying fuel.
She said: “There’s CCTV footage that shows nothing less than fear in his face when he sees a certain individual pull on to the forecourt.
“He went to his car to get the machete. He has been terrified by this individual for many years. His grandfather has had his house attacked.
“It was on a garage forecourt, but there’s no statements from members of the public to say that they were concerned.”
Ms Hossack added: “It was confined to an area near his car, there was no confrontation.
“There’s no suggestion that Mr White was going to use that weapon and there wasn’t serious alarm or distress caused.
“Given that Mr White is a man of previous good character, I would say that there are grounds to suspend custody.”
White, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty possessing a bladed article in a public place, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.
John Lee, chairman of the bench, told him: “There are a number of things troubling the courts at the moment and one of those at the top is knife crime.
“The public don’t like knife crime and the courts don’t like knife crime.”
As part of his sentence, White must also carry out 28 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.
He was ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.