Sunderland man who threw rocks at police after running into River Wear to avoid arrest is jailed

A man who threw rocks at police after running into the River Wear to escape their clutches has been jailed.

Gavin Burridge, 37, is starting 28 weeks behind bars for an offence a judge said could have caused serious injury to officers.

Burridge, of The Cedars, Penshaw, fled as a passenger from a car being driven by a banned motorist which crashed during a chase.

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They hot-footed it to their watery retreat at around 8.30am on June 30, where they displayed violence for 90 minutes before being arrested.

Gavin Burridge.

At the time, Burridge was subject to a two-year community order for offences of causing criminal damage and two assaults.

On Wednesday, July 27, he offended again when he pinched a £16 bottle of whisky from Larry’s retail outlet in Shiney Row, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

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Prosecutor John Garside said: “This defendant was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a disqualified driver.

“It failed to stop for police and was being driven erratically. A stinger device was deployed, and the vehicle collided with others.

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“The occupants ran away from police and ran into the River Wear. They were in there for one-and-a-half hours.

“They were making threats to police and throwing rocks at officers.”

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Burridge pleaded guilty to a charge of affray in relation to his river antics at an earlier hearing.

He also admitted one count of theft and one of failing to surrender to custody on Thursday, July 28.

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David Wright, defending, said Burridge’s offending increased after he turned to alcohol to deal with the death of a close friend.

Of the affray, he added: “He spiralled and that has led to this offence. He was struggling with his demons.

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“The theft of the bottle of whisky was him trying to deal with the tragedy in his life.

“He tells me that he’s making efforts to change. He has been to see a doctor and an alcohol support group.”

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District Judge Zoe Passfield jailed Burridge for 24 weeks for affray and four weeks for theft, to run consecutively.

She revoked the community order and jailed him for six weeks each for criminal damage and the two assaults, to run concurrently.

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And she jailed him for a week for failing to surrender to custody, to run concurrently.