Argument over 'some girl' led to 'petrol bomb and machete' gang stand-off in Billingham

Argument over 'some girl' led to 'petrol bomb and machete' gang stand-off in Billingham

Cameron Hunter had a machete in one incident :: In another, he chased a car and 'stabbed it' with a knife after an argument

A man who stabbed a car with a knife and months later brandished a machete during a gang stand-off has avoided prison.

Cameron Hunter was 19 when he became embroiled in an altercation between two gangs of young men on Quenby Road in Billingham.

Teesside Crown Court heard trouble erupted on August 18, which included "petrol bombs and weapons".

"The defendant produces a large machete from his trousers, he doesn't necessarily swing it round," said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.

"Another man has a brown bottle with a rag hanging out, which was later found to be a petrol bomb."

Hunter was arrested and in interview told police he had no intention of using the machete, but had only produced it to "intimidate" the other group of men.

He committed that offence while on bail for another knife scuffle.

Cameron Hunter

Hunter was at his girlfriend's property in Billingham when two other women turned up, looking for their younger sister, in June.

An argument ensued after they entered the house, with Hunter heard shouting: "You ****ing fat b****, I'll stab you up."

After the pair left and started to drive away Hunter emerged with a knife and "stabbed the car", Ms Haigh said, with some of the incident recorded on CCTV.

Hunter, now 20 and previously of good character, admitted two counts of possessing a knife, one criminal damage charge - relating to stabbing the car with a knife - and an affray.

 

He was 'not the prime mover'

Mitigating, Chris Morrison said while the machete incident could have had "severe consequences", he was not the "prime mover".

"The argument started that day over a girl," he told Judge Peter Armstrong.

"It did not involve the defendant but a friend of his and a man from another group.

"(The man from the other group) left but came back with the other group, with a baseball bat and machete and chased them.

"There were some effort made to dampen things but the other side were intent on confrontation.

"They used what they could find to try and convince the other side that discretion is the better part of valour."

Mr Morrison said Hunter was given the machete "by a friend" and used it as a deterrent, and "nobody was injured".

 
Teesside Crown Court

He said that it cannot be argued that Hunter "makes a habit of taking out sharp objects".

With regard to the incident in June, Mr Morrison said the women had "insisted" they went into the house "uninvited".

"But he admits he was excessive and acknowledges he behaved improperly," he continued.

Mr Morrison said Hunter was a cannabis user who has suffered depression and may have adult ADHD, said he had the prospect of work, and urged the judge not to jail him immediately.

 

'Extremely dangerous'

Judge Peter Armstrong said: "When two women came to an address you were at looking for their young sister, and didn't leave straight away, you lost control and took a knife out to damage a car.

"You were on bail for that offence when in Billingham there was an altercation, which appears to have started over some girl.

"The other group turned up armed and you got a machete to even things up.

"Even though you didn't use it, it was extremely dangerous."

Cameron Hunter, 20

But he said after listening to Mr Morrison's mitigation, he had been convinced he could suspend any jail term.

Hunter, of Knole Road, Billingham, was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 150 hours in unpaid work and pay £100 in compensation for damaging the car.

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