A serial offender has been found not guilty of being drunk and disorderly by a court in his absence.
Darren Stokoe, 24, had asked police to lock him up in the early hours of November 19, only to be told he had done nothing wrong, Sunderland magistrates heard
Despite this, he was then detained prior to being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said officers were called to Bishop Morton Grove, in Hendon, at 12.32am on November 19 to reports that a man was trying to get into a house.
“The officer was aware of Stokoe, having had previous dealings with him,” Ms Beck said.
He was found in an intoxicated state in Borough Road, the court heard.
We hear there is an element of doubt in this case, so we find the case not provedBench chairman Joan Green
“He put his hands out and said ‘lock us up’,” Ms Beck added.
The officer said in his statement: “I said I had nothing to lock him up for.
“He said he was breaching his bail, but there was nothing to indicate he was breaching his bail.”
The officer said Stokoe then swore at him.
“I detained him,” he added. “He called me a divvy and said what would happen if I started to push him around.
“I then arrested him for being drunk and disorderly.”
However, Stokoe, of Hereford Road, Sunderland, was cleared of the offence after defence solicitor Heather Bolton argued that he may have been unlawfully detained.
The defendant has a string of previous convictions.
Ms Bolton said: “I don’t know the reason why Mr Stokoe is not in court today.
“Mr Stokoe was spoken to by the officer who states he had nothing to lock him up for. He then detains him.
“Why has he detained him? There is an issue in relation to that. Has he been unlawfully detained?
“It’s then that Mr Stokoe says some words and he is then arrested for being drunk and disorderly.”
Bench chairman Joan Green said: “We hear there is an element of doubt in this case, so we find the case not proved.
“The case against Darren Stokoe is therefore dismissed.”