1. ITV Report

Two in court over alleged sword attack

Newcastle Crown Court, where the pair are now due to appear. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Two men have appeared in court after a family reported being threatened with a Samurai sword in Gateshead.

This is alleged to have happened on Saturday afternoon when a woman challenged the occupants of an address on Barkwood Road in Highfield about a loud noise.

It was reported that at about 12.50pm she was confronted by two men who came from a neighbouring property.

One of the men has then allegedly attacked the woman and her ex-partner, who was carrying their young son.

An altercation has then taken place during which the woman reported that she was assaulted by the 45-year-old man.

It was then reported that a second man has come out of the address armed with a Samurai sword and threatened the young family.

Officers attended the scene and the two men were arrested on suspicion of affray.

Norman Smart, 45, was later charged with common assault and Lee McLaughlin, 30, was charged with possession of an offensive weapon and a public order offence.

They appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court where the case was adjourned to be heard at Newcastle Crown Court on February 17.

Sergeant Warrant Sturrock, of the Gateshead West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

This incident took place in the middle of the day and there have been a number of witnesses.

It has led to a large police response and I know that may cause concern to some residents in the Highfield area.

I hope the fact that two people have been charged to court offers some reassurance but we have continued to carry out foot patrols in the area this week.

We want to ensure our local communities remain a safe place to live and if anyone has any concerns we would encourage them to get in touch.

– Sgt Warrant Sturrock, Northumbria Police

Smart, of Barkwood Road, Highfield, has been released on bail while McLaughlin, also of Barkwood Road, was remanded in custody by magistrates on Monday.