Drunk stick-wielding dad terrified bank holiday shoppers in rampage at Sunderland supermarket

Sainsburys, Silksworth
Sainsburys, Silksworth

A Sunderland dad who terrorised bank holiday shoppers with a metre-long wooden stick has been fined more than £800.

Dad-of-one Adam Burton had been on a two-day bender over the May bank holiday, when he brandished the weapon at Sainsbury’s car park, in Silksworth Lane, Sunderland.

This male was outside the store, as if looking for someone. He stood next to the trolley park, swinging out with the stick, narrowly missing a woman

Ian Lowther, prosecuting

Magistrates in Sunderland heard the 30-year-old started swinging the stick around at 4.30pm on May 2 - almost hitting a woman collecting a shopping trolley.

Ian Lowther, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was seen carrying a wooden stick. He is seen swinging the stick as if looking for target, and shouting in an aggressive manner.

“He was shouting and swearing. He was outside the store, as if looking for someone. He stood next to the trolley park, swinging out with the stick, narrowly missing a woman.

“He then approached a group of men, brandishing the stick. They, subsequently, didn’t enter the store.”

The woman in the car park said in a victim impact statement that she was left shocked and distressed by the incident.

“She said the male’s behaviour was weird – that’s how she describes his behaviour,” Mr Lowther added.

Burton was arrested, and told police he had been to his ex-partner’s address, to find out she had been involved with somebody else.

He added: “He said he picked up the stick as a car was heading towards him, to act as a deterrent.

“Later on, he said he had been drinking for two days and he couldn’t remember the stick when it was shown to him.

“He said he fell out with his ex-partner and a car came towards him. He couldn’t recall being outside Sainsubry’s, but he asked officers to pass on his apologies to the woman outside the store.”

Burton, an asbestos remover of Plains Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to threatening unlawful violence.

Ian Jordan, defending, said: “Frankly, the mind boggles. Here you have someone like Mr Burton, who is just short of three years of of coming before the court, and, who had not consumed alcohol for two years – until this bank holiday weekend.

“He had been socialising with friends, and, over two days, consumed alcohol to excess.

“He had attended upon his ex-partner’s and he heard from her that she had moved on and had started another relationship.

“He can’t explain why he was at Sainsbury’s. He says this lady’s new partner drove past him and he feels he may have been protecting himself when he picked up a large stick – about a metre long.”

“He knows he’s let others down and caused fear,” Mr Jordan added.

Burton was fined £830, with £85 costs and £83 victim surcharge.