A blood-soaked teenager who chased his best pal down the street with a knife after a boozy late-night New Year’s Eve row has been told he was ‘very lucky’ to avoid a stiffer court sentence.
Police were sparked into action by a concerned member of the public, who raised the alarm after spotting Nathan Turnbull armed with a kitchen knife.
Officers swooped on the 18-year-old’s home and discovered a blade covered in blood – and also found Turnbull’s jeans and trainers were splattered with blood.
Turnbull admitted racing into the street with the weapon but said the blood was his own – after he cut himself when smashing a wardrobe in a booze-fuelled rage.
Turnbull, of Cambridge Avenue, Hebburn, pleaded guilty to a charge of using threatening behaviour to cause fear of unlawful violence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
But District Judge Helen Cousins blasted the “wrong decision” by the Crown Prosecution not to charge him for possession of the knife.
She ordered Turnbull, who had no previous convictions, to complete 40 hours of unpaid work for the offence.
District Judge Cousins said: “I am very, very surprised he is not being charged over the possession of the knife.
“That is the more serious offence and should be on his record.
“Mr Turnbull is a very lucky boy, this is absolutely the wrong decision.”
The court heard that Turnbull was heavily intoxicated after drinking vodka and lager throughout the night when the row broke out with his friend.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 11.15pm on New Year’s Eve, an anonymous member of the public called the police and said they had seen a male chasing another male down the street while in possession of a knife before returning to a house.
“Police arrived at the house and found a blood-stained kitchen knife. Turnbull was in the house and said he had been drinking in the house and had one too many.
“He said he had an argument with his friend and smashed his own wardrobe and then chased his friend.
“He said he had the kitchen knife with him at the time.”
Turnbull’s friend didn’t come forward to police or make a complaint in regards to the incident.
Ian Haq, defending, said: “I have made it very clear to him how seriously the court takes these offences.
“He says the other person involved is his friend and they are still in daily contact.
“This doesn’t excuse him running down the street with a knife.
“Any person would be very gravely concerned to see this.”
As well as completing unpaid work, Turnbull must pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £60 victim surcharge.