South Shields thug jailed for Taser lunge on man

Daniel Andrews.
Daniel Andrews.

A thug who was caught on camera using a taser on a rival during a drug deal in the street has been jailed for more than five years.

Daniel Andrews was captured on CCTV holding the weapon, which was disguised as a torch, against the neck of another man during a meeting near a subway at Anderson Street, in South Shields, on September 29 last year.

A clear "glow" can be seen coming from the unknown man's neck after the 25-year-old uses a Taser against his skin.

Andrews, who is already serving a ten-week prison sentence for having a dangerous, pit bull type dog, named Demon, which has been destroyed under court orders, is seen on the footage trying to discharge the hi-voltage weapon again, repeatedly, but is chased off.

The weapon, which carries a five year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone caught carrying it, was later found discarded in a bin.

After the confrontation, Andrews went on to commit a shocking series of assaults and is now behind bars for a total of five years and 10 months.

Prosecutor David Crook told Newcastle Crown Court the town centre camera operator had noticed Andrews acting "suspicously" in the street last September and said the meeting had the look of a "drugs incident".

Mr Crook, who played the footage in court, said: "The defendant removes a taser, disguised as a torch, which he deliberately jabs at the neck of the person he is attacking and appears to discharge, and certainly attempts to discharge subsequently.

"One can see a glow when it is pulled back from the neck of the person he is attacking."

The court heard when Andrews home was searched police found 6g of cocaine and 35 diazepam tablets.

When the serial criminal, who has over 60 convictions, was detained by police, he scrawled graffiti on the cell walls using his own excrement an bit a police officer's arm causing bleeding and bruising.

After he was given bail for the offences, Andrews received a suspended prison term for harassment in January this year.

Within weeks of the suspended prison term, he attacked a woman in a room they had booked at the Sea Hotel, in South Shields.

The court heard Andrews, grabbed, hit, pushed, spat on and bit the victim and tried to set fire to her hair.

Mr Crook added: "He said he had visions of dying in a hotel room but said 'I'm going to kill you first'."

The woman left the room, after a sleepless night, when the cleaner arrived the next morning.

While being held at Southwick Police Station, in Sunderland, days after the attack on the woman, Andrews threatened to take a doctor hostage and put his arm around the medic's neck and then headbutted an officer.

The following day, he spat into the face of another officer and after the saliva landed in the man's eyes, he warned "I've got Aids".

Andrews, of Seafield Terrace, South Shields, admitted having a disguised firearm, possessing drugs and common assault charges on the woman at the hotel and the officers while in custody.

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced him to a total of five years and ten months behind bars and said he has a "dangerous disposition".

Vic Laffey, defending, said Andrews, who had a troubled childhood and mental health problems, had bought the taser shortly before he met the man near the subway to buy valium so he could end his own life.

Mr Laffey said Andrews is "intelligent and articulate" despite his long-standing problems.

He added that the man who appeared to have been tasered did not appear to be badly injured.