Sunderland woman caught with knife in city centre

A Sunderland woman found herself in court after being caught with a knife in the city centre.

For that offence, she was jailed for 10 months, suspended for two years, by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court in April 2021.

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But she found herself before magistrates in South Tyneside after being caught with a knife in Sunderland city centre on Monday, August 29.

Claire Fowles.

Fowles committed her latest crime while subject to the suspended sentence – and faces it being activated when sentenced next month.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester said: “At approximately 11.30am, officers were on mobile patrol when they were requested to attend Union Street.

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“It followed information from civic cameras that the defendant had been seen with a knife.

“On arrival they spoke to her and on questioning her in respect of the knife, she immediately produced a red-handled knife from her pocket.

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“She dropped it to the floor when requested. When she was arrested, she said it was for her own protection.

“The officers also noted that she appeared to be unsteady on her feet and that her breath smelled of alcohol.

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“The crown says the best course of action may be to commit the defendant to crown court for sentencing.”

Fowles pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in public.

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Tom Morgan, defending, said: “I could mitigate at length on this defendant’s behalf, but it may be academic if the court needs to commit to the crown court.

“The first question is if the case can be treated as a standalone or if it will go to the crown court.”

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Magistrates agreed to send Fowles to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

They granted her unconditional bail to be sentenced on Monday, October 24.