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Man who went on rampage against Darlington neighbours is jailed
A MAN who went on a rampage against neighbours and threatened to "stab up" police officers called to the scene was today (Tuesday, August 27) jailed for eight months.
John Woodley was said to have turned Cartmell Terrace, Darlington, into a war-zone during his terrifying drink- and drug-fuelled bout of violence.
The drama was sparked by Woodley receiving a letter from council officials after other residents complained about late-night noise from his home.
The 27-year-old's barrister told Teesside Crown Court: "The incident itself was the culmination, really, of 12 to 18 months of his life falling apart."
Woodley had been drinking heavily and taking cocaine before arguing with neighbours on July 4, threatening to kill one he called a "police grass".
He threw iron dumbbells through windows, wrecked a door and smashed cars in the street - leaving a trail of destruction which topped £2,000.
A police armed response unit, the police helicopter and dog squad were called to the scene at 11.10pm and became involved in a two-hour stand-off.
Prosecutor Christopher Wood said Woodley was holding a knife as he yelled to cops: "If you come in here, I'll stab your arteries."
Earlier, he had menacingly said to a neighbour: "Are you in there, you bitch? You ****ing grass. Get your son out here. Get him in the back alley."
Dan Cordey, mitigating, said Woodley had started weight-training, taking steroids and binge-drinking after his partner left him and he lost his job.
He described the threats as "the ramblings of a drunken, high man" and said Woodley never once took the knife into the street, and gave himself up.
"The incident, I fully accept, was unpleasant, particularly for his neighbours, and wasn't just a one-off as far as he was concerned," he added.
"Clearly, he had made their life a misery for weeks if not months before this incident . . . his entire world had recently fallen to pieces."
The father-of-two pleaded guilty to affray and five charges of damaging property when he appeared before magistrates in Darlington last month.
His case was sent to the crown court because a district judge concluded his sentencing powers - a six-month maximum in jail - were not sufficient.
Judge Howard Crowson rejected a plea from Mr Cordey to suspend the prison term, saying: "It is a serious matter requiring imprisonment."
He told Woodley: "It was a really appalling piece of behaviour and, I suspect, looking at it now, sober, you understand how frightening it would have been.
"However rambling you might have appeared, it must have been the case that you also appeared extremely dangerous given the police called the armed response team."