In amongst the news of riots and anarchy around the UK I saw an article in Saturday’s Newcastle Evening Chronicle that raised a smile, in fact it gave me the best laugh I’ve had for a long time! The headline read:
“Armed thug scared off after storming Wallsend barbers”
Judge James Goss hit out at the “anarchy” on the streets during the recent riots after hearing how a thug stormed into a Tyneside barbers brandishing a meat cleaver. He made the comments while sentencing Jason Cook who had gone into the Wallsend hairdressers with his face masked to threaten staff – but was soon scared off with a hairdryer. After watching a CCTV clip of the incident, Judge Goss said that in light of recent events, people had to realise they could not take the law into their own hands.
In brief, Jason Cook, 27, of Tynemouth Road, Wallsend, burst into Paul’s hairdressers in Howdon on February 23 at around 3pm. With a meat cleaver in one hand and a knife in the other, he shouted “give me the money”. The court then heard that Hairdresser Jamie Underwood managed to scare him off with a hairdryer.
Cook pleaded guilty to affray and possessing an offensive weapon. Judge Goss said he deserved 18 months in jail but, as he had been on remand for more than five months, he suspended a six-month prison sentence.
This incident raises the following questions:
• Should we consider research into the effectiveness of a hairdryer as a weapon?
• Should we consider arming the Police and even the Military with hairdryers?
• Does Mr. Cook understand that he is probably not cut out for a career in armed robbery?