A MAN who brought part of a town to a standstill after “brandishing” a kitchen knife in the street while posting a live video of himself on social media has appeared in court.

Davide Sardu, of Bondgate, Darlington, was arrested following a disturbance in the town on Saturday.

The 42-year-old appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court today, where  he pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place and to resisting a police officer.

Read more: What we know so far after armed police and vans cordon off busy Darlington road

Bondgate was closed for several hours on Saturday while police dealt with the incident.

Magistrates heard Sardu had been in Bondgate Tavern on Saturday night prior to the incident but was asked to leave when he was seen with a knife.

Sardu, who had been the victim of an assault days before the incident, had been asking pub staff about whether they recognised anyone in a video he had of his attackers.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, told the court he had produced a knife from his coat pocket, telling people “I need this for protection”.

She added: “He was asked to leave and he started to live stream himself on Facebook, showing himself walking down Bondgate.

“He brandished a kitchen knife, with a fixed blade in clear view.

“He continued brandishing the knife, saying ‘I have to have the knife to be protected, I’ll kill everyone, I’ll kill you, next time I’m f***ing killing you.’”

He then entered his flat and when police attended refused to leave for about an hour and twenty minutes.

The Northern Echo:

Sardu, who has no previous convictions, admitted both charges.

He continued to publish live streams on social media after entering his flat, which show him shouting with police officers and asking them to leave him alone. 

The court heard Sardu, who is Italian, had not thought  carrying the knife was a crime.

Stephen Andrews, who was representing Sardu, said: “The defendant’s position is that he fully accepts that the knife was about his person. He fully accepts it was about his person for the purpose of public protection because he himself had been subjected to a violent attack just days before this incident.

“He didn’t actually realise he was committing an offence by having it about his person.

“As he explained to police he said in Italy, where he is from, as long as the knife has a blade of a certain length or below then it is not an offence to carry such an item.

“Because the knife of the blade was below that length he thought that the same rule applied.”

He added: “Nobody was threatened directly with the blade.”

Mr Andrews said he had barricaded himself in his flat because he was confused about the police’s involvement.

Mr Andrews said: “He just didn’t understand why they were there because he didn’t see he had committed an offence.

“He was confused. He didn’t understand why the police needed to be in his flat and that’s why he barricaded himself in.”

Magistrates asked probation services to carry out a pre-sentencing report.

He has been given bail and is due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on July 31 to be sentenced.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054