Man fined for claiming to have gun in Sunderland street

Blandford Street, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID
Blandford Street, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

A mentally ill man who mixed his medication with booze terrorised shoppers in Sunderland city centre by telling them he had a machine gun.

Police received nine calls about Peter Bainbridge’s behaviour in Blandford Street, on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 12, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Omar Ahmad said officers responded to a reported of a man being abusive to members of the public at about 2pm.

As they were on their way to investigate, a further eight 999 calls were made from from terrified witnesses.

Mr Ahmad said: “Police received a number of complaints out a male being drunk and abusive towards members of the public.

“The male was purporting to have a machine gun.”

Mr Ahmad said that when officers arrived, Bainbridge, 33, smelled strongly of intoxicating liquor and his eyes were glazed.

The court heard Bainbridge continued to shout and swear and making threats of violence as members of the public watched on.

He was placed in handcuffs, arrested and transported to custody.

The court heard, however, the defendant did not calm down and had to be restrained, before being placed in the rear cage of the police van.

Bainbridge, of Brandling Street, Sunderland, failed to attend court and was found guilty of drunk and disorderly behaviour in his absence.

Ian Cassidy, defending, said: “He had drunk alcohol.

“He had taken it with the medication he takes for his mental health. The two do not mix.”

Bainbridge was fined £60 and was ordered to pay £85 costs and £30 surcharge.