Serial criminal had knife in one hand and bottle of Stella Artois in the other after theft from B&M in Sunderland

A thief caught on camera carrying a large knife through a street packed with shoppers and children has been put behind bars.

Phillip Anderson had a stolen bottle of Stella Artois in one hand and a large kitchen knife in the other as he strode away from B&M Bargains in Southwick, Sunderland, last November.

Phillip Anderson

Phillip Anderson

A judge said anyone who saw the 31-year-old serial criminal would have found the sight "pretty terrifying" and said his behaviour was "extremely dangerous".

Shocking CCTV captured Anderson, who had taken drink and drugs, walk away from the scene of the theft, with the large blade on display.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Newcastle Crown Court: "CCTV showed the defendant leaving B&M with a bottle of lager he had stolen in one hand and in the other he had the kitchen knife.

"He was in the street, he had the knife, a large knife, and there were a number of pedestrians around the area.

"The knife is in full view to anyone who may be about to see it."

Miss Haigh said there was a "serious risk" of trouble if Anderson had been apprehended for taking the bottle of lager while armed with the knife.

Anderson, of no fixed address, who has convictions for 54 previous offences, had stolen the knife from his parents' home in Sunderland, where he was banned from being under the terms of a restraining order.

He pleaded guilty to theft of the knife, breach of a restraining order, theft of alcohol and possession of a bladed article.

Judge Robert Spragg sentenced him to 17 months behind bars with a three year Criminal Behaviour Order which bans him from being drunk or drinking in public.

The judge told Anderson: "It is clear from the CCTV you had a knife in your hand.

"You were seen to walk across a car park with it and you were seen to drop it, in front of children.

"This was a bladed article, carried in a public place, past shoppers, where children were present.

"Knives raise the risk of disorder if you you had been stopped carrying out the offence of theft.

"Seeing that knife being carried would have caused alarm and distress to passers by."

Vic Laffey, defending, said Anderson, who had a troubled background, did not threaten anyone with the knife and had concealed it when a passer-by was close.

Mr Laffey said Anderson "would welcome the opportunity" to work with professionals to sort out his problems and keep him away from trouble in future.