Convicted arsonist verbally abuses woman in Wallsend after mistaking her for someone else

Jeffrey Walker was found to be in possession of a bottle of ammonia when he was arrested. Credit: NCJ MEDIA SYNDICATION

A convicted arsonist left a mum and her three-year-old daughter in fear after shouting abuse at them in a case of mistaken identity.

Jeffrey Walker had not long been released from prison for setting his girlfriend on fire when he approached the victim in her garden in Wallsend, Newcastle, believing she was someone else.

Newcastle Crown Court heard on Tuesday (6 September) that the 36-year-old shouted and swore at the victim who called police.

Officers found Walker was in possession of a bottle of ammonia when they arrested him.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a public order offence, having an offensive weapon and also damaging a mattress at the police station and failing to turn up to court.

Recorder Mark Giuliani initially jailed Walker for 145 days but after he was taken to the cells he called the case back on and changed that decision and suspended the sentence for 18 months.

The judge said: "You had shortly come to the end of a supervision period of an extended sentence for an arson offence imposed on you which meant you were either in custody or subject to licence.

"You then entered a relationship and family members were concerned about that relationship, as a result of which you and your new partner were subject to a campaign by family members that was unpleasant and unwelcome to the extent you and your partner sought the intervention of the police.

"You found what you thought was the ringleader but you misidentified an innocent woman in her garden with her child and you were abusive to the woman.

"You said you were unaware a child was present."

In a pre-sentence report, Walker, of Hotspur Avenue, Whitley Bay, said he intends to keep carrying an imitation corrosive substance in the form of milk.

Mark Harrison, defending, said: "His partner had been subject to bullying, that's what caused him to be at the location and commit the offence of public disorder.

"The police had been called by her and him and the police took the view this was not a matter they wanted to get involved in.

"So upset was the defendant's partner that, foolishly, the defendant took it upon himself to vent his spleen. He went to the address, picked the wrong person and committed the offence.

"He now has a baby and is working with children's services and is trying to show them he can have a meaningful role in his new daughter's life."

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