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An Alnwick man has been jailed for five months after carrying a knife and making threats.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 3:00 pm
The magistrates' court in Bedlington.

Matthew Richard Johnson, 30, of Cawledge View, pleaded guilty to having a lock knife – with a blade exceeding three inches in length – in a public place, without good reason.

The incident happened on Saturday, March 24, in Alnwick.

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Last Thursday, at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court, in Bedlington, Johnson was sent to prison for 20 weeks.

Magistrates said that the offence was ‘so serious’ because he had a knife in his possession when he was ‘in drink and mentally unstable’, and that a ‘verbal threat was made when calling the crisis team as to the proposed intention’.

It was also a ‘second-strike’ offence – a second/subsequent offence of possession of a knife/offensive weapon. Johnson also has to pay £200 in costs.

○ An Amble man has been fined after being found guilty of using a mobile phone while driving.

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Dean Barclay, 35, of Leslie Drive, had denied the offence, which happened at Alnwick in the summer of 2016.

But last week, magistrates at Bedlington found him guilty and fined him £170. He also has to pay £340 in costs and his driving record was endorsed with three points.

○ A drink driver lost control of his car on the A1 and crashed into a sign on the other side of the carriageway, Berwick magistrates heard.

Darren Gray, 22, was travelling from Haggerston Castle to Berwick in a red Vauxhall Corsa in the early hours of March 21 when the crash happened.

The court was told that he was celebrating his boss’s birthday and had drunk four pints when he got a call from his girlfriend who was upset.

James Long, prosecuting, said the defendant took the decision to drive to visit her at Highcliffe but crashed off the A1 near the Wooler junction, south of Berwick.

He provided a positive roadside breath test to police and was taken to Middle Engine Lane police station in Wallsend where he gave a camic breath test of 91mg alc/100ml breath at 4.45am. The legal limit is 35mg.

Steven Reed, in mitigation, acknowledged it had been a stupid mistake, but added: “This was not premeditated. He only drove after receiving a telephone call from his distressed girlfriend. It doesn’t excuse what he did but it supplies context.

“He has shown genuine remorse and gives an unreserved apology for what he has done.”

The defendant, who lives at Haggerston Castle Holiday Park where he works in the kitchen, was banned from driving for 23 months. He was also ordered by magistrates to pay a £175 fine, £85 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

○ A drink driver who was almost four times over the legal limit has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Paul Morris, 53, of Park Farm Villas, Blyth, pleaded guilty to the offence, which occurred on the B1331 at Bedlington on March 28.

He was caught driving with 131 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

He was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He also needs to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months, has been disqualified from driving for 32 months and needs to pay £200 in costs.

○ A Morpeth man, who drove off from two different petrol stations without paying for fuel, has been fined.

Phillip Joseph West, 36, of Wellwood Gardens, pleaded guilty to an offence at Cramlington, where he took £81.25-worth, and at Morpeth (£40.91).

He was ordered to pay the full amount in compensation, was fined £10 and must complete a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.