Police offer 'feared for safety' after being threatened by knifeman with eight-inch blade

A Jarrow man who threatened to kill police while armed with an eight-inch butcher's blade has been put behind bars.

Saturday, 16th March 2019, 3:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th March 2019, 3:18 pm
David Kirsop appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

Officers were called to Osborne Avenue in South Shields after reports David Kirsop was armed and threatening to "stab police officers".

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 33-year-old, who was found in a rear garden, "jumped to his feet and ran towards" a police sergeant but was later persuaded to drop the weapon and nobody was hurt.

Kirsop has seven previous convictions for carrying bladed articles.

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Kirsop, who has seven previous convictions for carrying bladed articles, admitted affray and has been jailed for 15 months.

Prosecutor Peter Schofield told the stand-off happened on December 18 last year and added: "The police received a call that the defendant was at Osborne Avenue in South Shields, in possession of a butchers knife.

"They further received information he had indicated he was waiting to stab the police or stab police officers."

Mr Schofield said two officers were dispatched to the scene and found Kirsop in a rear garden with the weapon, with a police sergeant taking a leading role.

He continued: "He tried to persuade him to put down the knife, which he didn't do.

"It seems it went on for around a minute then this defendant jumped to his feet and ran towards the officer, brandishing the knife in front of him."

The court heard the sergeant "feared for his safety" during the incident but thought Kirsop's intention was to scare him rather than stab him.

Kirsop, of Pickering Court, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to affray.

Judge Amanda Rippon said: "It is perfectly plain that after trying to persuade you to drop the knife and calm down, you did the opposite, you jumped out and made towards the police sergeant while holding the knife out in front of you."

Judge Rippon said at the moment Kirsop is "posing a high risk of harm to general members of the public" but that he is making progress in custody and there is hope for his future.

Graeme Cook, defending, said Kirsop, who has a history of mental health problems, is drink and drug free in prison and has been having intensive therapy.

Mr Cook added: "He believes he needs to change. He has never been more motivated than he is at this present time."