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December 2nd, 2010
Taser Report Du Jour

 
A KNIFEMAN who terrorised a taxi driver only dropped his weapons when he saw the red dot of a police Taser on his chest.

Sean Lingard had got into the cab outside Newcastle’s The Gate complex even though he knew he was out of cash.

He told the driver he was going inside for money once they arrived at his home in Tennyson Terrace, North Shields.

But when he came back out he suddenly pulled two large kitchen knives from his side pockets.

And although the frightened driver was able to escape and ring for help, only the threat of a police stun gun finally persuaded Lingard to disarm, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Officers went into his flat and found the defendant still holding both of the knives,” said Glenda Turnbull, prosecuting.

“He was told to put them down but didn’t.

“They had Taser authority, and once they put the red dot laser on to the defendant, he dropped the knives.”

Lingard, 19, admitted possessing articles with a blade or point, affray, and making off without paying the £20 cab fare.

He was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours’ unpaid work and a three-month curfew.

Recorder Julian Goose warned: “These offences were serious of their kind.

“You threatened a vulnerable person working alone at night, and you took the decision to pick those knives and go out again. The combination of drink and two large knives in that situation means it could have been far worse.”

But Recorder Goose said he gave Lingard credit for his guilty pleas, his age and previous good character.

“In my judgement, it is possible because of those matters of mitigation to suspend the prison sentence inevitable for offences such as this,” he added.

Jonathan Pigford, defending, said Lingard had acted out of character after drinking in the city with a friend.

“He fully understands the court takes a serious view because of what might potentially have happened,” he said.

“The taxi driver could have challenged him, and it does not bear thinking about what may have happened.”


(SOURCE)


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