South Shields machete man was 'drinking litre of vodka a day' at time of troubling incident

A man who went “beyond the Pale” by launching a doorstep attack with an 18in machete while drunk on vodka has been spared jail.

“High risk” offender Christopher Hay’s terrifying assault saw him pull the weapon from a carrier bag during an altercation with his former partner’s boyfriend.

Hay, 37, of Brabourne Street, Tyne Dock, was overpowered by his victim and the sheathed blade removed from his grasp by his ex-girlfriend.

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The incident happened at the couple’s home in Holbein Road, Whiteleas, at 3.30pm on Friday, November 4, a court heard.

Christopher Hay.

But he came off worse, suffering a fractured cheekbone and two black eyes after himself being pummelled during the struggle.

He has now been jailed for eight months, suspended for 18 months, by a judge who said there was a prospect he could be rehabilitated.

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At an earlier hearing, he pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article, causing criminal damage, assault by beating and making a grossly offensive or obscene communication.

During sentencing, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Hay made threats against the man during phone calls to his ex-partner in the minutes before he struck.

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He then turned up at the couple’s home and made moves to attack the man after he answered the door.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said Hay raised his carrier bag as if to hit his victim but received a retaliatory punch in the face.

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In a statement given to police and read by Mrs Beck, the man said: “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.

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“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.”

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A Probation Service report read to the court said Hay had been drinking a litre of vodka a day and was heavily intoxicated at the time of the attack, of which he could remember nothing.

After being let go, retail worker Hay punched the man’s Vauxhall van, and was then arrested, it was said.

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David Forrester, defending, said: “It’s nine years since his last offence. He appears to be genuinely remorseful.

“He appreciates that his actions went so far beyond the Pale, he’s embarrassed by them.”

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District Judge Zoe Passfield jailed Hay for eight months for bladed article possession.

He was also jailed for eight weeks for assault and four weeks each for the other two offences, to run concurrently. The sentences were all suspended.

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Hay was also made subject to an 18-month restraining order, banning him from contact with his victim or former girlfriend and from attending Holbein Road.

He must complete a 12-month alcohol treatment programme, 25 days of rehabilitation and pay his victim £200 compensation, with £85 court costs.