A MAN who threatened to ‘do a Raoul Moat’ and go on a killing spree targeting police officers has walked free from court.

Robert Thompson made the threats after being arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage on November 5 last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard he struggled as officers tried to take him to their van, and while doing so, the 29-year-old, of Elmfield Street, Darlington, swallowed some tablets.

As a result, he had to be taken to hospital where he began telling officers he wanted to kill one of their colleagues and slit their throat.

Jane Waugh, prosecuting, said he told the officers: “I am going to do a Raoul Moat and make him look like a baked bean.

“I know what this cop looks like - I am going to kill him.”

Thompson - who has 58 previous convictions for offences including affray and robbery - admitted making threats to kill at magistrates’ court and the case was committed to crown court for sentencing.

The criminal damage offence was not pursued.

In mitigation, Stephen Andrews said his client’s offending was often linked to his misuse of alcohol and drugs.

He told the court Thompson also had no interest in Raoul Moat and that the comments were extremely out of character.

“He doesn’t know where those comments came from,” he said.

“There is nothing to suggest that these threats were attempted to be carried out.

“It is very out of character for him. To go to this extent is certainly something that he doesn’t have the propensity to do.

“It is clear from the pre-sentence report that there is work to be done with this young man.”

Sentencing Thompson to six months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge George Moorhouse said: “You told the police you had thoughts of killing police officers and cutting their throats and threatened to do so.

“That is a very serious offence.”

Thompson was also made subject to a three-month electronically monitored curfew from 9pm to 6am and was ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.