South Shields man carried knife onto Metro platform and brandished it in front of children

A serial offender who carried a knife onto a Metro station platform and brandished it in front of children tried to get a judge to change his mind after he was given a jail sentence.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 2:32 pm

Brandon Cairns, 23, of Titan Avenue, South Shields, was caught on CCTV inside the station with the weapon in his hand before police officers arrived to arrest him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Cairns had picked the knife up from his uncle's house about a week earlier, and was on his way to return it on February 2.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson summed up the incident in court.

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Brandon Cairns tried to persuade a judge to let him off a jail sentence

She said: "At about 11:20am police were alerted to the Tyne Dock Metro Station to a male in possession with a knife.

"With the assistance of South Shields Council CCTV the defendant had been brandishing the knife whilst children walked past him before running nearby to Olive Street."

The court heard that officers found a knife with a red handle in Cairns' right trouser pocket, and when interviewed he told police he was trying to drop it off at his uncle's house after picking it up from there by mistake.

Cairns, who has 38 convictions for 84 offences admitted being in possession of a knife in a public place.

Fiona Lamb, mitigating, told the court her client was trying to return the knife but and had it in his hand as he didn't want it to poke him in the leg.

Ms Lamb added: "He said it was stupid and he wished it hadn't have happened.

"Finding himself back in custody has been very difficult for the defendant and has said on many occasions how difficult he has found it.

"He said he didn't go out to cause trouble and wanted the court to know that he was trying to get his life back on track and was very disappointed to be back in jail."

In summing up, Judge Stephen Earl told Cairns that knife crime is now being treated more seriously nationally with stricter punishments.

The judge added he didn't believe there was currently a realistic prospect of rehabilitation for Cairns and sentenced him to seven months imprisonment.

"The long and short of it is the defendant does have a lot to say for personal mitigation, but the reality is I must pass a custodial sentence," he said.

"Give up the life of crime or you will spend further time in prison."

But Cairns was not ready to accept his punishment and addressed the judge via video link from custody.

He told the court he had been suffering mental health problems at the time the incident happened.

He said: "I saw the bizzies turn up and that's when I went into the Metro station and my mental health was kicking in.

"I've been out of trouble for months and months on end. I don't get how I'm getting locked up.

"I might have had it in my hand but I'm miles away from anyone."

But Judge Earl could not be persuaded and he confirmed that sentence was final.

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