Man caught armed with knife and screwdriver

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A MAN was caught on a housing development with a knife and a screwdriver in his pocket.

Sam Atkins was one of three men spotted on the Taylor Wimpey site in Blackthorn Way, Houghton.

He and an unnamed man fled, leaving Darren Woodward behind to be arrested.

Atkins was later caught by a police dog with the tools in his pocket.

The 19-year-old, of Dovecote, Pelton, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and being found in an enclosed space for an unlawful purpose.

The court heard how police were called at 10.50pm on September 2.

They saw three men, one carrying a plank of wood.

Orla Davey, defending Atkins, said he had turned his life around since the offence and had moved from Houghton to Pelton.

He had enrolled on a Prince’s Trust course and hopes to go to college on a health and fitness course.

Magistrates imposed a six-month community order. Atkins must also obey a one-month curfew from 8pm-8am, pay £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

In a separate hearing, dad-of-three Woodward, 35, of Lambourne Close, Houghton, also admitted a charge under the Vagrancy Act.

Magistrates handed down a conditional discharge, to run alongside a 12-month suspended sentence for harassment, which was imposed at Newcastle Crown Court in November.

Woodward must also pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.