A DELUDED man who was waving a knife around while shouting threats while standing in the middle of street has been jailed.

Stewart Armstrong was caught with a knife on two occasions in less than a week after he was made homeless following the death of his mother.

The 31-year-old's mental health deteriorated after he struggled to get his anti-psychosis medication following the outbreak of Covid, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Rachel Butt, prosecuting, said police were called when Armstrong was shouting 'who are you talking to?' and 'I'm a f***ing psycho' while waving a kitchen knife in the air and making stabbing gestures.

Miss Butt said several armed response units were called to the incident on Kielder Drive, Darlington, at 4.30pm on September 12.

She said: "The surrounded the defendant and detained him. He was not in possession of the knife but he told the officers he had discarded it in a nearby garden."

The defendant told police that he carried the knife because he believed 'gypsies were going to hurt him'.

The court heard he was then arrested again on September 18 when police spotted him riding his bike in the Haughton Road area.

Miss Butt said: "They noticed that he changed direction when he saw the officers. They searched the area and found him hiding behind a wheelie bin.

"He appeared nervous and was searched and had amphetamine and a letter opening knife in the shape of a sword in his backpack."

Again he made full admission and said he was carrying the knife because he believed someone had 'paid gypsies' to hurt him.

Miss Butt told the court that at no time was a member of the public threatened with a knife.

In the first incident he was waving it and shouting 'at the sky' and in the second incident it was inside his rucksack and was only discovered during the police search.

Armstrong, of NFA, pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of a bladed article, two charges of possession of amphetamine and further one of possession of cannabis.

Mark Styles, in mitigation, said Armstrong had been made homeless when his mother died and had found accommodation at a bed and breakfast on Corporation Road before ending up sleeping rough.

Mr Styles said his client's mental health had deteriorated which had resulted in his behaviour on both occasions.

He added: "He believed he was being pursued by people who were hired to harm him."

Judge Deborah Sherwin told Armstrong that his case was unusual because until September this year he had not committed any similar offences.

She said: "You committed this offence when you ere at a low ebb mentally."

Armstrong was jailed for a total of ten months.