Sunderland man went barefoot wielding a sword after men armed with hammers threw paint at his windows

A dad who armed himself with a sword after his home repeatedly came under attack has kept his freedom.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 4:27 pm

Jonathon Smart was armed and barefoot when police spotted him in the street in the early hours of May 19.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 43-year confessed he had been pursuing two men who were armed with hammers and had thrown paint over his windows, in the latest of a series of attacks aimed at his home.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court Smart could be seen on his own CCTV "shouting down the street and pointing the weapon in the direction of the people he was addressing" before he set off in "hot pursuit" and was stopped by the police.

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The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard Smart's home was the target of an aggravated burglary where he was badly attacked and hospitalised on New Year’s Day in 2019 and three men have been convicted.

Smart, of St. Luke's Road, Sunderland, admitted having an offensive weapon.

Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said Smart had been left with a blood clot on the brain after the attack on his home last year.

Miss Moscardini said the culprits are serving prison sentences but Smart has continued to be a target.

She told the court: "They had been around the night before this, when his partner and son were in the house, threatening him.

"They had thrown gloss paint and there was a warning they would be back.

"They had returned on the evening in question and thrown more at his window and were armed with hammers.

"He accepts he should have stayed in the house and called the police as he did the evening before.

"His intention was to frighten them away. He was wearing no shoes.

"The police came around the corner."

Miss Moscardini said Smart, who has a job, had "no intention" of using the weapon and just wanted the men away from the house.

Mr Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC sentenced Smart, who has a criminal record but has been out of trouble for almost a decade, to six months behind bars,suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements.

The judge told Smart: "The prosecution has confirmed three men were convicted of aggravated burglary at your home, during which you sustained a serioushead injury.

"You have been the victim of sustained disruption at your home address since that time.

"It may be you have to move home to avoid any further difficulties for you and your family.

"I accept what you did was totally spontaneous. I accept you would not have used the weapon."

The judge said the reasons behind Smart's offending were "unusual".