Machete man to be released

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A HOMELESS man who wielded a machete in a supermarket in a bid to get himself arrested is to be released from prison.

Night staff and shelf stackers at Tesco at Dragonville, Durham City, were evacuated when James Glendinning Douglas produced the machete in the early hours of February 8.

He was also carrying a snooker cue, a knuckle-duster and a sock filled with two snooker balls.

Douglas, 30, formerly of Sharp Crescent, Gilesgate, admitted affray and four charges of possessing an offensive weapon.

His only previous conviction is for drink-driving.

Caroline Goodwin, defending, told Durham Crown Court: “He was homeless and depressed over drugs debts of £10,000.

“Mr Douglas acted purely out of desperation that day. Getting himself arrested was the only thing he could think of.

“He has now been in prison for 100 days, which is the equivalent of a six-month sentence.

“It may now be possible to consider him for a strictly supervised community order.”

The court heard Douglas will have to be seen in the community by a psychiatric nurse before a care plan can be compiled.

Judge Christopher Prince ordered Douglas to be released on May 22 to see the nurse, and ordered him to return to court on May 25 to be dealt with.

The judge said: “My main concern is the safety of the public, and the defendant should be aware it may still have to be a prison sentence.”