A KNIFE-WIELDING drunk narrowly escaped jail yesterday.

On July 11, last year, police officers were called to Spennymoor over concerns for the wellbeing of Kevin Connor Parker.

Parker, 37, was found unconscious in his wheelchair in Iceland car park, surrounded by alcohol.

Paramedics were called and treated Parker on an ambulance bed.

They folded his wheelchair only to find a large hunting knife underneath.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said when he awoke he became aggressive towards police and paramedics.

He said: "He was immediately aggressive. Officers began to speak with him when he began to feel beneath him. A local PCSO thought he was looking for the knife."

The Morrison Close, Newton Aycliffe resident, has 43 previous convictions for 76 offences – five of which relate to offensive weapons.

Defending, Tony Cornberg said: "He is living in supported accommodation while on the waiting list for a flat and now has some stability. He is now engaging with help."

Durham Crown Court heard that Parker felt the need to carry the weapon on the streets to defend himself.

Judge James Adkins agreed to defer sentence for six months on the condition he stays out of trouble for that time.