A drug addict who threatened a police officer with a piece of broken glass when she tried to arrest him for selling stolen goods has been jailed.

Lee Smith ran away from the officer before becoming cornered in an alleyway and grabbing the glass in an attempt to evade arrest.

The 30-year-old was eventually wrestled to the ground when reinforcements arrived on the scene, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said the officer had been forced to back away from the defendant when he started to thrust the glass shard towards her.

“He told her to go away,” she said. “He then repeatedly threatened to throw the glass at her.

“She started to back off and he ran out of the alleyway but he was soon brought down by the officers and colleagues – he was still holding the large piece of glass at the time.”

The court heard how Smith has 35 convictions for 95 offences and had just finished serving the licence period of a previous offence when he was arrested.

The Northern Echo: Lee SmithLee Smith (Image: Cleveland Police)

Smith, of Elliott Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to common assault of an emergency worker and threaten a person with a blade / sharply pointed article in a public place.

Gary Wood, mitigating, said his client reacted badly to the officer wanting to speak to him and acted recklessly due to his drug addiction.

He added: “He has accepted responsibility for his actions and hasn’t tried to justify it.”

Judge Chris Smith told Smith that anyone who threatens a police officer with a weapon should expect to be locked up.

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“He has made a ridiculous decision when he has picked up the glass and threatened the officer with it,” he said.

“It was a dirty piece of glass, if it had been used on the officer to cut or stab her, it could have caused a nasty injury or a serious risk of infection.”

Jailing Smith for a 12 months, the judge added: “I’m clear that the message has to go out that those that threaten an emergency worker with a weapon will receive an immediate custodial sentence.

“I would be failing in my public duty if I didn’t imprison you.”