Sunderland man armed himself with exhaust pipe during street disorder described by judge as an ‘appalling spectre’

A Sunderland man appeared in court after an incident outside his home which a judge described as an ‘appalling spectre’.

Saturday, 2nd November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 6:01 pm
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

A court heard Darren Hill accidentally struck his neighbour's car with an exhaust pipe while attempting to hit a fellow drinker.

Newcastle Crown Court was told how Hill had been drinking with a group of men, including the victim, at his flat in Millfield, Sunderland.

Liam O'Brien, prosecuting, told the court how the 31-year-old went outside with the men on Thursday, June 26, last year and armed himself with a exhaust pipe from a vehicle.

The court heard how the victim was "beat up" and was found "slumped on the floor, bleeding from his head", the prosecutor told the court.

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Mr O'Brien told the crown court judge: "While the defendant was trying to strike the victim with this pipe he struck a Vauxhall Zafira."

The court heard how the police arrived after being called by distressed neighbours and £500 worth of damage had been caused to the vehicle.

Mr O'Brien said that Hill failed to attend hearings at the magistrates' courts earlier this year in relation to the incident.

Hill appeared at court on Friday, November 1, via video link from Durham Prison.

Despite having no representation, Judge Robert Adams told him that he was happy to proceed and sentence him without a barrister.

Hill, of Twickenham Road, Sunderland, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words, possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage to a motor vehicle and failing to surrender to custody at a previous hearing.

Judge Adams told Hill: "This was an appalling spectre as far as the public is concerned."

However, the judge praised Hill's "very good work ethic" and added: "Largely, your employment has caused you to reflect on your position."

Judge Adams sentenced Hill to six months in prison suspended for two years.

The judge also also ordered Hill to complete rehabilitation requirements and pay £500 compensation to the neighbour to pay for the damage to the car.