South Shields man who was tasered four times after being spotted with a machete is spared jail

A man who held a machete from the window of his flat as police tried to gain entry and failed to calm down after being tasered four times has kept his freedom.

Council staff along with gas and electric engineers attended Mark Wilson's flat on February 11 last year to conduct some overdue maintenance work inside.

Police were also in attendance after Wilson, of Lorrain Road, South Shields, had been subject to complaints from neighbours about his behaviour leading up to the visit.

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Prosecutor John Hobley said that the problems began when the workers knocked at the door.

Mark WilsonMark Wilson
Mark Wilson

He said: "When they knocked they were met by a refusal to let them in.

"As an engineer began to drill the door down he became angry.

"A short time later he appeared at a window with a black machete and the two officers called for assistance."

Newcastle Crown Court heard that when officers finally broke the door down some time later, they were met by Wilson wearing a face mask and gloves.

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Officers tasered the 39-year-old four times to no effect, and they decided to retreat outside but at 3.30am on February 14, officers finally gained access and there was a struggle.

A police dog handler required hospital treatment after he received punches from the defendant before he was finally arrested.

The court heard that there was damage caused to the electric and gas meters, which Wilson - who has 19 previous convictions for 37 offences - tried to cover over with chicken wire.

Mr Recorder Kealey sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to single offence of affray and two counts of damaging property.

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Passing sentence, which included a 15 days rehabilitation requirement, Mr Kealey said: "Not only was there a machete recovered but there was also another knife found.

"There was damage caused by you to the gas and electric metres which you tried to cover up.

"You have a number of convictions for for criminal damage.

"You have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia by a doctor, and it played a very significant role in your behaviour during those few days."

Gavin Doig, mitigating, said: "It's a serious incident and the defendant was in a particularly acute state of mental health.

"That will be cold comfort to the police officers and other staff involved.

"He is in a much improved state of mind and is now calm and is taking his medication - I'm hopeful he can build on that in the community."

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