North East news LIVE: A19 reopened after two-vehicle crash near Sheraton

Man found with pepper spray claimed it was for warding off dogs

A pet owner found with pepper spray in his home claimed he had it to ward off dogs.

A judge told Shaun Dixon that he “didn’t buy” his excuse for having four cannisters of the noxious substance inside his Gateshead home.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that police had attended a domestic incident at the 50-year-old’s then address inBlaydon last year and discovered the prohibited weapons in his living room.

Dixon also admitted that one of the cannisters had been discharged at some point.

He was arrested but claimed to have the illegal substance to ward off other dogs when he was out walking his own pet.

However, Mr Recorder David Brooke QC threw doubt on Dixon’s excuse when he sentenced him to an 18-month community order following a guilty plea to possession of a prohibited weapon.

The judge said:

“You had four of these and I don’t buy your explanation it was something to do with dogs.

“In addition, you did use it, although I accept that’s said to be in your self-defence, but it’s not that they were just found in a draw.”

Newcastle Quayside in 2021. Newcastle Crown Court. (Image: TimMcGuinness/ChronicleLive)

The court heard that police attended a domestic incident at Dixon’s home on April 25 last year.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said:

“When officers attended the address, they identified, in the living room of the property, four pepper spray cannisters.”

Mr Bunch continued: “The defendant was interviewed and said he had them, effectively, to ward off dogs from his dog when he was walking it.”

The court was told that Dixon, of Rugby Gardens, inWrekenton, Gateshead, had 26 previous offences on his record, the most recent being for production of cannabis in 2015.

Tony Davis, defending, said Dixon had been subject to an electronic tag, keeping inside his home between the hours of 7pm and 7am, since June 2020.

As part of the community order, Dixon was given a further three-month curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland