Chester-le-Street man jailed for drunken knife threats at house in Sacriston

A MAN entered a house making drunken threats before thrusting a large knife in front of the startled resident.

Durham Crown Court heard that an hour earlier Kevin Fraser called at the property, in Sacriston, near Chester-le-Street, apparently unarmed, making incoherent comments, on the evening of Sunday, June 10.

The court was told the householder knew Fraser as a former friend of a neighbour.

Tamara Pawson, prosecuting, said on his return Fraser walked into the hallway carrying a 10in to 12in-bladed knife.

He thrust it down, just in front of the householder, who, with the help of a friend managed to grab Fraser and lead him out of the premises.

Miss Pawson said a second man, armed with a pick axe handle, was standing next to a Ford Mondeo outside the house in St Cuthbert Meadows.

When another car entered the cul-de-sac the other man shouted to Fraser, before both got into the Mondeo and drove off, shouting a parting threat.

Police were called and when Fraser was arrested a short time later he claimed he merely visited the house to return a 50in television.

Miss Pawson said no such set was found at the property and Fraser’s claim that he went there by bus did not stand up as the service number he said he took did not operate in that area.

Thirty-year-old Fraser, of Fifth Avenue, Chester-le-Street, admitted affray, driving while disqualified and possessing an offensive weapon in public.

The court heard that the car factory worker has three previous convictions for drink driving and two for driving while disqualified.

But Andrew Walker, mitigating, said Fraser has no criminal record for offences of violence.

Mr Walker handed character references to the court, including one from Fraser’s works supervisor.

“The facts of this case are very much at odds with the man described in those references,” said Mr Walker.

“He has only driving matters on his record and nothing previously of a violent nature.

“His only blight is drink. He foolishly went there intoxicated that night and what he did was completely out of character.”

But Judge Esmond Faulks said: “This was clearly a dangerous situation, going to someone’s house with a large knife, making threats while drunk.”

He imposed a 44-week prison sentence, Fraser’s first taste of custody, which includes four weeks for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

Fraser is already subject of a driving disqualification which does not end until December.

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