Sunderland man arrested after turning up at South Shields police station carrying a hammer in a B&M bag

A taxi passenger fleeing pursuers got himself arrested when he sought refuge at a police station – while carrying a hammer.

By Gareth Crickmer
Monday, 19th April 2021, 7:20 am

John Norris, 29, instructed the driver to take him to the South Shields nick – and told him he was being followed by people in two cars behind.

But nervous Norris’ words so concerned the driver he phoned police – and they greeted him on his arrival on Monday, December 21, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

A search of his discount store carrier bag revealed Norris, of Eden House Road, Eden Vale, Sunderland, was in possession of the metal implement.

The incident happened at South Shields police station.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said: “There had been a report made by a taxi driver that a male passenger was being followed by people in two vehicles.

“He was spoken to by officers outside the station. He was pacing up and down and was sweaty, and was carrying a blue B&M bag.

“Officers searched the bag and there was a hammer with a metal head.

“He told them, ‘That hammer is for my girlfriend, I’m as soft as *****’.”

David Forrester, defending, said Norris’ words were not a threat to inflict any injury on his then girlfriend.

Mr Forrester said his client had in fact planned to use the hammer to help fix up her home.

He added: “He has six previous offences but none for violence.

“It’s an unusual set of circumstances, where the defendant has got himself dropped off at the police station.

“He has some concerns about his ex-partner’s family and the way they pursue him.

“There seems to have been some issue where there was genuine concern to get to the police station.

“He got the taxi driver to drop him off at the police station. I think he thought the police station would give him a veneer of support.”

Norris, who pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, was handed an 18-month community order.

It comprises a nine-month alcohol treatment order, up to 25 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and 100 hours of unpaid work.

And Norris, who told the court he was moving to Hull to start warehouse work, must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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