Sunderland man took axe on train ‘by accident’

Sunderland station

Sunderland station

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A man told a fellow passenger that the axe he spotted in his bag was “nowt” before he was arrested and taken off a train at Sunderland railway station.

Gary Walker, 31, was catching a train from Newcastle to Middlesbrough when he claims he “accidentally” brought the axe he had used to dismantle furniture in his bedsit, Sunderland magistrates heard.

He didn’t threaten anyone with the axe. It was there by accident

Angus Westgarth

“The offence took place on August 15 after the defendant boarded the 9.30pm train service, from Newcastle to Middlesbrough, carrying a large bag,” prosecutor Kevin Ross said.

“He engaged in conversation with a male, saying he was going to see his girlfriend. The witness could see he had an axe. When he asked him about it he said ‘it’s nowt’.

“An altercation then occurred between the defendant and another male as the train was pulling up at Sunderland station.

“He was taken off the train and left the bag on board and the axe was seized.”

Walker, of St Thomas Street, Newcastle, admitted possession of a bladed or sharply-pointed article in a public place.

Angus Westgarth, defending, said: “The circumstances are that two weeks prior to the offences he used the axe to dismantle some furniture.

“Having used it to dismantle furniture, he then puts it in to this bag.

“Mr Westgarth said Walker decided to visit his girlfriend in Middlesbrough and put his clothes in the bag forgetting that the axe was inside.

“He puts the bag down on the concrete on the platform and hears a clunk. At that time he realises he still has it.

“He sees the witness waiting for the same train. He asks him about the axe and he says it’s nothing.

“He is embarrassed more than anything. He didn’t threaten anyone with the axe. It was there by accident.

“He’s been extremely upset at finding himself in this position, in this court.”

Handing Walker an absolute discharge, bench chairman Doris MacKnight said: “We do believe it’s been an innocent mistake.”