Sunderland knifeman put behind bars

A man who was spotted brandishing a knife in the direction of another man by council staff in Sunderland has been jailed.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 9:39 am
Michael Henderson

Employees from Sunderland City Council's emergency centre contacted police after they saw Michael Henderson in the city with a knife.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how they watched the 31-year-old produce the knife from his backpack and then place it in his hoodie on Saturday, May 11.

Stuart Graham, prosecuting, told the court: "He was then seen to walk in an aggressive manner towards a male, at which point he produced the knife andpointed it in the direction of the male."

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Mr Graham told the court how police attended and Henderson was found standing in a door way.

While Henderson was being searched, a knife was found on the floor just a couple of foot away.

He was then arrested by officers on Athenaeum Street.

Henderson, of no fixed address, admitted possession of a bladed article at a previous court hearing.

Nick Lane, defending, told the court: "He makes no excuse for his behaviour on that occasion and understands it's entirely unacceptable behaviour."

Mr Lane told the court how Henderson was left homeless after his partner announced she had met someone else and asked him to leave their home.

He told the court how they were in a "stable and happy relationship", with two children together, and that the announcement had came out of the blue.

Mr Lane said that Henderson ended up in temporary accommodation and began carrying a knife because some of the violence he witnessed there was "horrifying".

He said that Henderson had issues with alcohol and was consuming a "phenomenal" amount of cider.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Henderson to one year behind bars.

She told Henderson: "You were plainly under the influence of drink at the time.

"You found yourself in temporary accommodation, you had bad experiences within that accommodation and you took to carrying a knife.

"The least possible sentence I can impose is one of 12 months in prison. You will serve up to one half of of your 12 months in custody."