A DISPUTE over power supply to a flat resulted in a violent confrontation alongside a main road in broad daylight, a court heard.

Karl Christopher Taylor responded to a clash in which his brother, David, was threatened by a man waving a piece of wood outside a gable end property in High Northgate, Darlington.

Durham Crown Court was told Taylor armed himself with a hammer shaft and emerged from the rear of the property to go running at his brother’s adversary.

The pair lunged and swung at each other with their respective weapons in view of passing pedestrians and road users on High Northgate.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Taylor was later pursued by the other man who, by then, was carrying a knife.

Both men were later charged with affray arising from the incident, at 7pm on Monday August 6, last year.

But, Mr Baker said the other man, a Romanian national, is understood to have left the country in May and a warrant for his arrest remains outstanding.

Taylor, 27, of High Northgate, denied affray.

But, on the day of trial, his guilty plea to a newly laid charge of possessing an offensive weapon was accepted by the Crown, which offered ‘no evidence’ on the affray charge and a formal ‘not guilty’ verdict was returned.

Mark Styles, for Taylor, said although the defendant has previous offences on his record, he has no history of using weapons of any sort.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said an aggravating feature of the clash was the fact it took place in front of many passers-by on the street.

“There were people round about, innocent bystanders, others living in the vicinity, as well as those walking or driving down that road, and a cyclist who was nearly knocked off his bike.

“It was an argument between that man and your brother, but out you came, ‘tooled up’, to defend your brother, and whether you used that weapon or not, you at least threatened to use it.”

Judge Carroll imposed a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, with 100 hours’ unpaid work, and a £100 costs order.