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Machete threat by son was 'foolish' Concern for ill dad.

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

A SON threatened youths with a machete when they bombarded his ill father's home with snowballs.

Paul Rushton lost the plot when the troublemakers kept pelting his dad's home.

Worried sick about the effect the worry was having on his dad, Rushton went out with the machete and shouted 'you are going to kill my dad'.

Now Rushton has been given a suspended prison sentence after he admitted possessing a bladed article.

Judge Brian Forster said he was sympathetic to Rushton's plight but said people could not take the law into their own hands.

Judge Forster, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: "I accept you did what you did because you were at your wit's end.

"Your father was ill and was persistently troubled by the actions of young people in the neighbourhood.

"At the same time what you did was unlawful and foolish.

"The danger of introducing a weapon to a situation such as this, even if it is to scare, can get out of control and someone can be seriously hurt."

Rushton, of Sycamore Avenue, South Shields, had become concerned about youths throwing snowballs last November. He asked a neighbour to have a word with those responsible and the neighbour told them the elderly man was not well.

However, later that day the teenagers ended up in a row with Rushton outside his dad's home, on Sycamore Avenue.

He went back in the house, came out with the machete and started waving it round.

Neighbours who witnessed the incident said they were worried he might hurt the youths, who were aged between 11 and 19.

Eventually a neighbour told him to put it down.

And when police turned up they found the weapon back in its sheath on a wall in the house.

Rushton's dad had owned the machete for 40 years and it was kept as an ornament.

Vic Laffey, defending, said: "The machete belonged to his father, who had been at sea 40 years ago.

"Mr Rushton was at his wit's end, his father was particularly ill at the time."

Rushton was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with supervision.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 27, 2011
Words:361
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