Northampton ‘vigilante’ who chased suspected thief with a knife given suspended prison sentence

Crown Court GV'
Crown Court GV'

A Northampton man who acted as a ‘vigilante’ after a thief attempted to steal his quad bike has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than £1,000 court costs.

Aaron Mason, aged 33, of Briar Hill Road, Northampton, was charged with possessing a knife in a public place after an incident on April 26.

Northampton Crown Court heard Mason, who is a self-employed pipe layer, was in his home when he saw someone attempt to steal a quad bike that was parked in his drive.

Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said Mason picked up the “first thing that was in his tool box”, which was a 12-inch knife.

Ms Allen said a witness then spotted Mason chasing the suspected thief in Clinton Road, Far Cotton, who was riding a motorcross bike, on his quad bike with a knife in his hand.

A police officer was called to the scene and Mason ran up to him and told him that he had “caught a thief trying to nick his bike and had given him a good hiding”.

The knife that Mason had been holding was later found on the floor underneath a car and he was arrested for possession of a bladed article in a public place.

Michael Coley, mitigating, said his client was unaware that he had picked up a knife as he was in such a rush to catch the man who had tried to steal his quad bike and “thought it was a piece of wood”.

Recorder Stuart Sprawson said it was “appalling behaviour” by Mason and said he should not have acted like a “vigilante”.

Mason was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must also complete 100 hours unpaid work and pay £1,130 costs.