POLICE were forced to pull a Taser on a drunken man who was refusing to leave a cupboard after threatening them violence.

Jonjo Gaston had spent the day drinking in York before heading to a party in Middlesbrough where police were called to the reports of a domestic incident.

The 28-year-old hid in the cupboard in the ground floor flat on Fabian Road, Eston, when officers arrived at the scene in the early hours of February 11.

He was discovered sitting on a pile of clothes when the flat tenant managed to direct them towards the hiding Gaston.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the heavily intoxicated Gaston refused to leave the cupboard for 90 minutes while he made a number of outlandish threats.

Joseph Hedworth, prosecuting, said Gaston started threatening to harm the police, claiming he had stabbed an officer before and that he had been Tasered before and just pulled the darts out of his chest.

Mr Hedworth said the defendant then pulled the woman into the cupboard with him and made her sit on his knee before threatening her.

He added: "She was shocked and he started to get more enraged, he said 'I'm going to stab her and what are you going to do about that?'"

Gaston then said he had a revolver while the PC "kept the red dot on the defendant at all times".

The incident came to an end after 90 minutes when armed police arrived at the flat and the defendant was arrested when a officer managed to grab him and drag him out of the cupboard.

Gaston, of Margrove Walk, Park End, Middlesbrough, admitted affray. He denied false imprisonment and that charge was left to lie on the court file.

In mitigation, Chris Morrison said his client's recollection was a little 'sketchy' after spending the day in York drinking.

The barrister urged the judge to suspend the sentence as Gaston had already served the equivalent of an eight month sentence whilst on remand.

He said: "He regrets causing the brouhaha. He has asked me to extend his gratitude to the police for dealing as diplomatically with him as they did.

"He fully understands the hullabaloo he's caused which necessitated to deal with him in this robust manner.

"He's ashamed of his actions and through me he asks the court to accept an expression of remorse at the unbounded and embarrassing nature of his behaviour here.

"Whatever prompted someone to call the police, it was none of his making. No one has in fact been physically harmed in relation to this incident. The affray was committed in a private and confined space."

Judge Paul Watson QC jailed Gaston for nine months.

He said: "It was a very frightening incident, not only for the officer but for the lady who was dragged into the cupboard.

"This was a nasty incident that went on for a long period of time – more than an hour."