Jailed for holding neighbour at knifepoint

Simon Wright.
Simon Wright.

A MAN who held his neighbour at knifepoint before stealing his car has been jailed for four years.

Raymond Black was at his home in Ladyburn House, Hadston, Morpeth, when Simon Wright entered his flat brandishing a kitchen knife and demanded Mr Black hand over the keys to his Ford Fiesta.

Wright, 38, also of Ladyburn House, cut Mr Black’s telephone line and told him not to call the police, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Kevin Wardley, for the prosecution, said: “At about 1.15pm on July 6 this year, the defendant knocked on Mr Black’s door.

“Mr Black found him to be intimidating and acting in a bizarre manner.

“He backed down the hallway away from the defendant.

“Then the defendant produced a seven-inch kitchen knife and threatened the victim stating he wanted his car keys because he needed to go somewhere.

“He handed over his car keys to the defendant.

“He then cut the telephone line with the knife, going into the complainant’s bedroom, and telling him not to ring the police for half an hour.

“He left and took the car.”

Wright was arrested shortly after the incident when he handed himself in to an officer outside Bedlington Police Station.

During interview, he admitted the offences and said he stole the car so he could go and see a man in Blyth who he had a longstanding grudge against.

The day before the offences, Wright attended a health centre in Hadston where he was found to be in possession of a Stanley knife, which was taken from him, the court heard.

Tom Finch, defending, told the court that Wright wanted to be arrested so he could receive help for his psychiatric problems and it was never his intention to go and see the man in Blyth.

“The real motive behind him committing this offence was to draw attention to himself which is ultimately what he did,” Mr Finch said.

“The real motive as far as this defendant is concerned is that he could be arrested and remanded and then ask for help.

“It seems that really the core issue has been this man turning to excessive alcohol and drugs in order to deal with his fragile emotional and psychiatric state.

“This is a man who has wanted help and has been seeking it.

“He is motivated to address his problems.”

Wright, who has nine convictions for 13 offences, including grievous bodily harm, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, possession of an offensive weapon, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and driving without insurance.

Sentencing Wright to four years behind bars, Recorder Peter Johnson said: “It seems to me that this was caused by your excessive drinking.

“You were drinking huge quantities of cider and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

“You have made progress.

“It is clear you have an insight into your problem but you need a more intensive programme over the next few years.”