A MAN struggled with two police women after they seized a machete-type weapon which he was seen carrying in public, a court heard.

Police were tipped-off by a member of the public that someone had been spotted in the street apparently brandishing a machete, in Newton Aycliffe, on the morning of August 12.

Durham Crown Court was told the two female constables, who were in a mobile patrol vehicle, spotted Shaun Craig Chester in Dalton Way, at 10.30am.

They approached him and informed him of the report they had received, at which point Chester pulled the 15in bladed implement in a black case from within his clothing.

Ian West, prosecuting, said Chester claimed it was not a machete, but, “a thing”, and appeared “very agitated”, as if under the influence of drink or drugs.

Mr West said he alternated from shouting to speaking in an ordinary voice, and at one point appeared to try to retrieve the weapon.

He was told he could not have it and was asked to sit in the back of the police vehicle.

Chester initially refused, but then followed the instruction, while the weapon was placed in the boot of the vehicle.

“He seems to have then got out of the rear of the vehicle and was on his mobile phone as he was described as pushing one of the officers away.

“Both PCs tried to restrain him and activated an emergency baton for assistance, but he was throwing his fists around and they struggled to control him.”

Chester pushed the officers away and fled on foot, and although he was pursued, they lost sight of him.

He was eventually detained after the deployment of other officers.

Both officers suffered slight hand injuries in the incident.

He told police the machete was an ornamental weapon, which he was moving from his father’s address to his mother’s home, when he was challenged by a youth in the street.

At this he claimed he planned to take it away but accepted being agitated during the incident.

Mr West said the defendant was on police bail at the time after damaging public toilets and assaulting a security officer at the Cornmill Centre, in Darlington, on July 30.

Chester, 22, of Clarence Chare, Newton Aycliffe, admitted possessing an offensive weapon in public, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, plus criminal damage and assault by beating.

He also admitted failing to answer bail for not turning up at court on September 16, since when he has been arrested on a bench warrant.

Ayman Khokhar, mitigating, said it was conceded Chester, “doesn’t have the best of records”, with a lot of offending since the age of 17, but much for, “trivial offences”.

Mr Khokar said Chester claimed the knife was ornamental, a replica of a weapon seen in an Alien/Predator film.

But Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC described it as, “a terrifying, predatory weapon”.

Passing a one-year and one-week prison sentence, Recorder Lumley told Chester: “It’s all the more concerning that at the slightest hint you were being confronted over your behaviour you became violent. In both, to people only doing their job.”

Recorder Lumley also ordered forfeiture and destruction of the machete.