Released mental health patient stole scooter and threatened police with ammonia

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A MAN is behind bars today after he stole a scooter and got into a fight with police officers who tried to arrest him.

Mark Phelps, 27, had just completed a stint in a mental health facility when he resisted two police officers who came to his home to speak to him about the theft.

Glen Gatland, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court that Phelps, of Caverdale Avenue, Washington, threatened to spray the officers with a bottle of ammonia if they came anywhere near him, on July 11.

Mr Gatland said: “When the defendant was walking towards the door of the property the police officer saw him take something from his pocket.

“Concerned for the safety of his colleague, one officer pinned Phelps against a wall with a baton and handcuffed him. It was later discovered that the defendant had a small toy gun in his pocket.”

Phelps pleaded guilty to taking the scooter without the owner’s consent, affray and possession of cannabis.

Defending, Mark Giuliani, said Phelps, who has 20 convictions for 33 offences, was a “young man with considerable difficulties” who has suffered psychotic episodes in the past.

Judge Deborah Sherwin jailed Phelps for 18 months.