An estranged son who “terrified” his dad by hiding near his allotment wearing a Donald Trump mask and holding two knives has been jailed.
Keith Mills, 35, received a 16-month sentence after he was found lurking near the Hill Park estate, in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, on 14 May last year.
He had been involved in a family feud with his estranged father and had warned a relative he was going to deliberately damage his dad’s allotment and wait for him there in a disguise.
Mills was also spotted rummaging through wheelie bins on Stanley Street on the same day he was caught, which prosecutors claimed was an attempt to find out his father’s address.
Police were called to the allotment after the defendant was spotted acting erratically.
When they arrived they found metal fence railings at the edge of the plot had been damaged.
A search of the area was carried out and Mills was later located in the driving seat of a van nearby with the engine still running.
Mills was arrested by police after they found two knives, a saw and a Trump mask inside his van.
At a Newcastle Crown Court hearing on 4 September last year, Mills, of Pine Street, Chester-le-Street, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place and possession of an offensive weapon.
A judge sentenced him to 16 months’ imprisonment last Thursday and also handed Mills an indefinite restraining order which bans him from contacting his father.
In a statement, Mills’ father told the court that he loved his son but was scared by his behaviour.
He said: “I love and miss him so much, but the way he is I am absolutely terrified of him and I don’t think I could ever have him back in my life for what the stress would do to me.”
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PC Judith Holtham, of Northumbria Police, added: “Mills’ behaviour on that morning was erratic and alarming. His actions understandably caused a great deal of distress to members of his family and frightened his father, who feared for his life.
“Upon locating the defendant, officers found him to be in possession of two knives that could have been used to cause significant harm.
“It is totally unacceptable – under any circumstances – to carry a knife and we are committed to ensuring anybody who is found in possession of these weapons is rightly brought to justice.
“Mills now must deal with the consequences of his actions, and I hope this conviction makes him consider the impact that his selfish behaviour can have on others.”