Metro passenger swung machete at police officer - then punched nurse sent to help him after he got tasered in South Shields

A passenger who was seen carrying a large machete down his trousers on a train swung the weapon at a police officer when he was confronted.

Frightened travellers had reported to officers at the Metro Interchange in South Shields, that someone on board had a machete protruding from his tracksuit bottoms and was saying he was going to someone's house to "chop them up".

Newcastle Crown Court heard one of the witnesses had taken a photograph of Thomas May, who by then had got off the train and was walking along Fowler Street.

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Prosecutor David Povall told the court May produced the machete when police approached and ended up tasered during the terrifying confrontation on August 4.

Thomas May.

May then punched a nurse who had tried to help him when he was taken into custody.

Mr Povall told the court: "Officers found Mr May at Fowler Street, going in the direction of the town hall.

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"He was described as staggering along the pavement.

"One police constable approached him from behind and told him to stand still and show his hands and that he and his colleagues were armed with tasers.

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"The defendant turned around and started walking towards the police constable, he drew the machete from his waistband."

The court heard the officer feared he was about to be hit with the weapon so tried to discharge his taser, which failed.

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Mr Povall added: "One of the other officers nearby fortunately had a functioning taser, which he used on the defendant, who was immediately knocked to the ground."

The court heard police had become concerned about May's mental state when he was put in a cell and he was visited by a nurse, who he punched in the chest.

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May, 30, of Warwick Court, Gateshead, admitted having an offensive weapon and two charges of assault on an emergency worker.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced him to 21 months behind bars.

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The judge told him: "A police officer confronted you and told you to stand still and show your hands, you walked towards the police officer, drew the machete and went to attack him, you swung the machete."

Judge Mallett said May will "pose a significant risk to others" until he addresses his issues.

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Rachel Hedworth, defending, said May, who has been in custody on remand, is now drug and alcohol free and is "shocked" by his own behaviour.

Miss Hedworth said May has mental health issues and has sought help and added: "He is extremely sorry.

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"He is at a loss to explain why he behaves like he does."