South Shields knife man detained in hospital to protect public after King Street argument
A man caught carrying a knife during an argument in a busy town centre shopping street has been detained in hospital for the protection of the public.
An off-duty police officer saw that Sukhraj Singh was armed during a confrontation with another person in King Street, South Shields, South Tyneside, in March last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the officer called 999, followed Singh until he was detained and nobody was hurt.
Singh, 23, of John Reid Road, South Shields, admitted possessing a bladed article and has a previous conviction for threatening with a knife.
Prosecutor John Crawford told the court: "On the day in question the defendant was seen having an altercation, an argument, with another individual on King
"He was seen by an off-duty police officer who then called 999 as he saw a knife in Mr Singh's possession.
"He then followed the defendant, staying on the phone to the police and Mr Singh was detained and the knife was found."
The court heard evidence from consultant psychiatrist Dr Christopher Ince, who confirmed Singh suffers from complex mental health disorders and has a history of admission to psychiatric hospitals.
Singh is currently detained in a mental health unit and Mr Recorder Andrew Smith sentenced him to a hospital order, without limit of time.
The court heard he will receive treatment in hospital and will be released only when he is deemed to be stable.
The judge said the hospital order is to "protect the public from serious harm" and added it was not possible to say how long Singh will be detained.