Washington teenager handed suspended sentence after knife threat

Nichol appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
Nichol appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
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A teen knifeman who threatened police after downing drink and drugs has been spared jail.

Nathan Nichol armed himself with an eight inch carving knife and warned neighbours, "I will stab you all", while shouting in the street.

Officers discovered the 19-year-old hiding in a nearby garden, and holding the deadly weapon to his own throat.

The incident was on December 12.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: "He was threatening to cut his throat and also was threatening the officers with harm if they tried to get into the garden."

The court heard the stand-off came to an end without anyone being hurt following negotiations.

Nichol, of Thirlmere, Washington, admitted he had had alcohol, cannabis and prescription medication and pleaded guilty to affray.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with programme and alcohol treatment requirements.

The judge said: "This was 10.30 at night in a residential street, with other people present, watching what was going on.

"It must have been both frightening and worrying for your neighbours."

Judge Bindloss said an immediate prison sentence would have meant Nichol losing out on access to agencies who can help him.

Lee Fish, mitigating, said Nichol comes from a good, supportive family who are working together to keep him out of trouble.

He added: "His behaviour on this day was irrational, it simply makes no sense at all.

"This defendant acknowledges that alcohol is a rather troubling feature of his life, something he needs to address.

"With the support of his family and the probation service, this will not happen again. It has not happened since and nothing like this has happened before."