A SERIAL menace who threw a concrete block from a Metro bridge in South Tyneside has been jailed.
Daniel Langley, 19, was on bail for a series of violent offences when he hurled the slab from the platform of South Shields Metro Station, sending it crashing on to the pavement – 20 feet below in Queen Street.
No one was hurt during the incident on February 11, which was captured on CCTV and shown to a judge at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.
Judge John Milford QC said Langley’s behaviour was “foolish” but accepted the concrete was not aimed at and didn’t land close to any members of the public.
The footage showed Langley and a friend on the station platform, where they stayed for a few minutes before he threw the missile and watched it smash.
Andrew Walker, prosecuting, said: “Langley is seen to pick up a concrete slab, place it on the railings above an underpass and push it off, causing it to fall to the ground in an area very close to a public footpath.
Simply put, you represent a danger to the public and it’s my job to protect them.
“The underpass and footpath are situated in a busy town centre.”
The judge said he was convinced Langley got a “perverse pleasure” out of watching the concrete explode on the ground, rather than the hope of hitting somebody.
The court heard Langley, of Laygate, South Shields, was on bail for a series of offences at the time.
On March 26 last year he subjected a security guard at Morrison’s in Jarrow to a “torrent of abuse”, calling him foul names and disturbing shoppers.
On May 28 he was involved in a “massive brawl” in King Street, South Shields, where he and some friends got involved in a large-scale violent confrontation after a rave in a nightclub in the town.
That confrontation was also captured on CCTV and played in court. On July 7 last year, Langley threatened to “chop up” some workmen during a confrontation in Percy Street, Jarrow, while he was armed with a 12-inch knife.
On August 3, police were called to a disturbance in Lord Nelson Street, South Shields, where they saw Langley armed with a concrete block shouting “I’m going to smash someone’s head in”.
Langley admitted causing a public nuisance, a public order offence, affray, having an article with a blade and having an offensive weapon.
Graeme Cook, defending, said the concrete block was never intended to hit anyone.
Mr Cook said: “He was looking where he dropped it.”
Mr Cook said Langley suffered problems at school due to being bullied and has a learning disability, which gives him “modest” psychiatric mitigation.
Judge John Milford sentenced Langley to 115 weeks’ imprisonment, of which he will serve half in custody.
The judge said: “I have taken into account a number of matters. This will be your first prison sentence and it’s clear from the reports that your behaviour is to be deplored.
“Simply put, you represent a danger to the public and it’s my job to protect them.”
Judge Milford also issued a criminal behaviour order for three years, meaning that Langley cannot use the Metro system or enter Jarrow.
The judge said: “I had some reservations about this at first but, after having the opportunity to read the application, I am satisfied and willing to grant it. The people from your area have suffered enough from your behaviour and they are entitled to the order.
“This will still be in place when you’re released from custody. If you breach this, you will be open to five further years in custody.”