Sunderland man arranged brawl outside Aldi on Facebook – then took knife along

David Blackburn
David Blackburn
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A former Nissan worker who took a weapon to a fight that had been arranged on Facebook has been put behind bars.

Witnesses claim David Blackburn was armed with a knife during the car park confrontation at Aldi in Fulwell Road, Sunderland, last November.

The 25-year-old, who claims he was carrying a metal bar not a blade, had been given a suspended sentence ten days earlier for knife possession.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Blackburn was jailed for nine months.

The court heard parliament has passed legislation which makes a prison sentence mandatory for anyone caught carrying a weapon in public for the second time.

Judge Jeremy Freedman told Blackburn: “It is clear, through social media, you had arranged a fight.

“It is noted you didn’t actually use the weapon, no-one was infact hurt and there is no complainant in this case.

“On the other hand, to have a weapon in a public place gives rise to the real risk of serious harm being caused and that is why parliament has intervened to ensure people who commit this offence on a second occasion are deprived, automatically, of their liberty.”

The court heard a passing businessman has seen Blackburn meet with six other man, who approached him in the car park.

After Blackburn produced the weapon from his sock, one of his rivals removed his jumper and was shouting “come on”.

The court heard before anyone was hurt or any punches were thrown, the trouble came to an end.

Tony Hawks, defending, said a Facebook row “spiralled out of control” and resulted in the arramgement to meet and fight.

Mr Hawks said: “The defendant armed himself because he thought he might be outnumbered.”

The court heard Blackburn went off the rails after he stopped working at Nissan and his relationship broke down.

Mr Hawks said the car park confrontation was “squalid” but nobody was hurt.

Blackburn, of Selina Place, Sunderland, had admitted having an offensive weapon.