Vigilante 'armed to fight' with a knife in each hand arrested after he and mother attacked in South Tyneside home

A vigilante son who took two knives into the street after his mother's home came under attack has kept his freedom.

James Donnelly was carrying two large kitchen knives at Hedgeley Road in Hebburn, in the early hours of February 23 and was arrested by the police.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 20-year-old had armed himself after he and his mother were attacked in their home.

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Prosecutor Tom Mitchell told the court: "He was carrying a knife in each hand. Put simply, he was armed to fight."

Hedgeley Road in Hebburn.Hedgeley Road in Hebburn.
Hedgeley Road in Hebburn.

Donnelly, of Hedgeley Road, Hebburn, admitted having offensive weapons.

Mr Recorder Jeremy Barnett sentenced him to a community order for 12 months with rehabilitation requirements.

The judge said Donnelly went outside with "blood boiling" and told him: "This was a reaction to a terrible incident where your mother and you had been attacked by some people.

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"What you did was wholly inappropriate but thankfully nothing happened.

"I am going to give you a chance."

Fiona Lamb, defending, said a group of males had "essentially broken into his mother's house" and Donnelly had armed himself as a result.

Miss Lamb said: "Clearly that wasn't the right way to go about it, especially since the police had already been contacted. The defendant knows that.

"This clearly falls short of self defence in law but it does provide an explanation as to why the defendant acted in the way he did.

"He is lightly convicted and he is a young man."

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Miss Lamb said Donnelly has an offer of work with a window company and has no previous convictions involving weapons.

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