Tyne & Wear

Gateshead TA cadet-beheading threats: Man given suspended jail sentence

Marius Dura and unidentified passenger Image copyright Northumbria Police/PA
Image caption Marius Dura was driving an Opel Zafira, with an as-yet unidentified passenger

A man who threatened to "chop the heads off" two female cadets on Tyneside has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The incident happened at about 21:25 GMT on 21 January when the teenage girls left the TA centre in Gateshead.

Gateshead magistrates heard how driver Marius Dura lent across his passenger and said: "Are yous in the Army because we will chop your heads off."

Dura, 26, admitted threatening behaviour and received a six-week jail term suspended for a year.

The second man, who was in the Opel Zafira car with Dura during the incident, has yet to be traced.

Dura, who lives in Germany and is a married father-of-two, was contacted by his family when he returned there and decided to come back to the UK to face justice.

He was arrested on his arrival at Folkestone, Kent, and was brought to a Newcastle police station where he was charged on Friday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The threats were made near the Gateshead Territorial Army Centre in Alexandra Road

In victim statements, the girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, spoke of their trauma.

One said: "I cannot stop crying as I am aware of what is happening in the world and the impact of these threats."

The other said: "This incident has made me very scared."

Shaun McFaul, for Dura, said there was "nothing sinister" in the motivation to make the comment.

"It was a crass, insensitive and not in the least bit funny comment that he made," the solicitor said.

"Through me, he would like to apologise to the girls."

Mr McFaul said his client, whose second cousin interpreted for him, had not understood the impact of his threat.

Sentencing, District Judge Helen Cousins said: "It was more than insensitive, it was a terrible thing to say, and particularly to two young women."

Dura was also ordered him to pay £100 each to the girls.

The judge added: "Compensation is not going to make it up to the girls. It might at least give them some understanding that it is regarded seriously."

Dura was given credit for his guilty plea and for returning to the UK voluntarily.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites