Man due to be sentenced after machete incident in South Shields street
The victim of a doorstep machete attacker in South Tyneside has told how he frantically fought for his life – and saved himself by striking out first in self-defence.
He punched drunken assailant Christopher Hay, 37, who had turned up at his South Shields home with the terrifying 18in blade in a carrier bag.
And when Hay began to pull the weapon from its sheaf seconds later, his victim jumped on him and pummeled his head in frantic desperation.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the man’s heroics were not enough to disarm dad Hay, his girlfriend’s former partner.
The attacker kept hold of the machete and only gave it up when trapped in a headlock at teatime on Friday, November 4.
Alcoholic Hay struck after making threats against the man in distressing phone calls to the woman in the hour leading up to the 3.30pm incident.
He was warned he could be jailed for what District Judge Zoe Passfield described as “extremely serious offences”.
In a statement given to police and read by prosecutor Glenda Beck, Hay’s target revealed trouble flared when he answered a knock on the couple’s front door.
He said: “Christopher raised the carrier bag towards me as if to hit me. I punched him to the face to get away.
“He was still holding the bag in front of me in a threatening manner. He came towards me again, holding the bag.
“He pulled a large knife from the bag. It was about 18in long and as he started to take the knife out of the sheaf, I jumped on top of him.
“I hit him on the back of his head to stop him getting the knife out. He was still holding the knife.
“I was trying to grab the knife out of his hands. I put him in a headlock. I had him in a choke hold when he was attempting to pull the knife out.”
The court heard the woman phoned police and then wrestled the machete from Hay’s grip as her partner restrained him.
After being let go, Hay walked from the property and punched the man’s Vauxhall van, and was then arrested.
He pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article, causing criminal damage, assault by beating and making a grossly offensive or obscene communication.
David Forrester, defending, said: “There is quite substantial mitigation. There is a limited record and nothing for nine years.
“He’s been in a mental health crisis for the past few weeks. His alcoholism has been substantial.”
Judge Passfield told Hay: “These are extremely serious offences, when you’ve attended an address in drink with a knife and then assaulted someone with that knife.
“The only question is whether it should be an immediate prison sentence or whether it can be suspended. I’m making no promises what the sentence will be.”
She ordered a pre-sentence report and Hay will be sentenced at the same court on Monday, November 14.
Hay was granted bail on condition he does not enter South Shields, save to attend a medical appointment, and not to contact prosecution witnesses.