Sunderland inventor claimed brother stole his idea and tried to have him sectioned

Court story
Court story
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AN INVENTOR who claimed his brother stole his latest idea has been ordered to stay away from him.

John Sopp, 43, held a grudge against brother Andrew, whom he believed was living off the proceeds of his design for a device to make painting easier.

Matters came to a head when Sopp confronted his brother in Pallion Social Club, Sunderland, just hours after he hurled racist abuse at a shopkeeper near his home in Summerhill.

Sopp pleaded guilty to both offences at a court hearing in October.

He was back before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said he came over to the victim on September 22, where he was drinking with older brother, Lesley.

“He grabbed his top with both hands and shouted: “Are you trying to get me sectioned?” she said.

Sopp was arrested and told police he intended to beat up his brother and vandalise his car.

In a statement read out to the court, Andrew Sopp said the attack left him shocked.

“I know he is family, but I’ve had enough. Luckily, my brother stopped him, otherwise it could be a lot worse.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said a psychiatrist had produced a lengthy report on Sopp, which would be passed to his GP. She said: “He is suggesting he works in the community, with the community psychiatric team, rather than any form of hospital treatment.

“His mental health appears to have deteriorated in 2011 and his feelings towards his brother have increased.

“I don’t think he is going to come to terms in his own mind with the grievance that he has.”

The report concluded Sopp was at high to medium risk of committing further offences against his brother and the shopkeeper.

Magistrates imposed an 18-month restraining order, keeping Sopp away from them both.

He must also complete an 18-month community order and pay a £60 victim surcharge.