Paranoid man armed himself with knives and branch cutters

Sunderland Magistrates Court.
Sunderland Magistrates Court.
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A dad armed with knives faced up to police officers while in the midst of a psychotic episode in which he believed “people were after him”.

Brian Moss, 27, had had an argument with his wife Kelly, and after drinking, left their Houghton home and turned up at his sister Marissa’s home in Wordsworth Avenue, Easington Lane, in the early hours of Sunday, July 27.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard that Marissa became concerned about Moss’s aggressive behaviour after she saw him in possession of two large kitchen knives, and he also had a pair of large-handled branch cutters taped to his back.

He had turned up at the house to ask if she could contact a psychiatric team.

When police arrived, he held one of the knives up to his chest and said “come on then” to officers.

Prosecutor Jeanette Smith told the hearing: “He reached for the branch cutters and was going towards police with them in a chopping action.

“Mr Moss then put the cutters down after being asked to by officers.”

Ms Smith added: “In interview he stated that he had gone to his siter’s because he wanted her to contact the crisis team, as he felt paranoid that someone was coming for him.

“He said he had no intention to hurt anyone and cannot explain why he had the branch cutters taped to his back.”

Appearing via videolink from HMP Durham, Moss, of Sherburn Grove, Burnside, Houghton, pleaded guilty to affray, two charges of possession of a knife and possession of an offensive weapon.

Neil Hodgson, defending, said Moss is in a stable relationship with his wife and that the pair have two children together.

“Whatever happened, Brian Moss accepts that he was arrested at 4am outside his sister’s house.

“He came around the house at about 2.30am and was upset.

“He wanted her to ring the Crisis Team (for psychiatric treatment) who would have been able to help.”

Mr Hodgson added that Moss has a history of taking amphetamine, but is now on medication, which he had not taken on the day of the incident.

“It seems to be me to be a cry for help because he wasn’t threatening anyone directly. He thought that people were after him and that’s why he had the items.

“His wife says he has never threatened her and she is not worried about him being around the children. The only victim in this is his sister. Hopefully, we won’t have any further problems.”

Chairman of the bench Mr Holdsworth told Moss: “After looking at all of the facts and taking into account all of the evidence, we are going to send this case to the crown court for sentence.”

Moss is now set to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on the week commencing, Monday, August 17.

He was remanded in custory until that date.