A man who has admitted carrying out a machete attack outside a pub is to be assessed for his “dangerousness” before he is sentenced at court next month.

Kieran Jack Barnes admitted charges of wounding with intent, affray and having an article with a blade or a point, when he appeared at Durham Crown Court, via video link from the city’s prison, at a plea hearing, last month.

The charges relate to an incident in which a machete was used to inflict head and facial injuries on a man near to Cottles pub, on Commercial Street, Willington, in the early hours of Saturday November 25, 2023.

The Northern Echo: Defendant Kieran Barnes facing sentence at Durham Crown Court for machete attack on man outside

Judge James Adkin told Barnes he had done the “right thing” to plead guilty as he, “almost certainly would have been found guilty had it gone to trial”, but he said he should expect to receive a custodial sentence.

When the case came back before the court for the scheduled sentencing hearing, on Monday (February 12), Amrit Jandoo, for Barnes, said a full pre-sentence report by the Probation Service had not been completed, with only an update from an offender manager put forward earlier this month.

“I understand your honour’s concern about the issue of 'dangerousness' which is absent in the updated report.

“He (the defendant) is anxious to be sentenced, but the issue of ‘dangerousness’ does arise.”

Mr Jandoo said the 28-year-old defendant, of Hurworth Street, Bishop Auckland, has been remanded in custody since his appearance at the magistrates’ court earlier in proceedings.

The Northern Echo:

Judge Nathan Adams, who was presiding over the hearing, told the court: “I don’t think I have any choice in the matter.

“There may be disagreement about the classification of the offence but, at the least, you are looking at four years.

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“It’s an attack on an innocent member of the public with a machete outside a pub.”

Judge Adams told the defendant: “As part of the sentencing exercise the court will have to consider if you are to be classed as ‘a dangerous offender’ and if you will require an extended determinate sentence.”

He adjourned the hearing for a re-scheduled sentencing hearing on Wednesday March 27 and remanded the defendant to remain in custody pending that hearing.