Knife suspect used weapon ‘for protection’

Scarborough Magistrates Court

Scarborough Magistrates Court

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A SCARBOROUGH man who carried a 10- inch knife in public “for protection” has escaped an immediate jail term.

Ian Johnson, of North Marine Road, had the carving knife in a coat pocket when he was stopped by police in North Street.

Officers found the knife after searching Johnson, 37, following a disturbance between him and his partner over her former lover.

Johnson said his partner was being harassed and had threatened to carry a knife herself before he intervened to stop her.

Prosecuting, Martin Butterworth told the court: “When he was searched by police he said he had the knife for protection and had bought it from Tesco in 2005.

“Later he said that he had the knife to protect his partner because she had been getting nasty calls.”

Mitigating, Shaun Greenan explained Johnson never intended to wield the knife in public and was merely looking out for the welfare of the woman.

He said: “His partner had been subject to a period of harassment from her former partner.

“This was an attempt to keep her out of trouble but he realises he should not have taken the knife out.

“He had absolutely no intention of using it but wanted to deflect the situation away from her.

“When the officers arrived it was at that moment that he was trying to calm his partner down.

“It was not an argument.

“She was bordering on hysterical and was trying to calm her.”

Mr Greenan said Johnson had no previous record of such offences and said that it was borne out of the desire to protect his partner.

He added: “There is nothing in his background that says he is a person who uses weapons.

“It was never brandished and there was no suggestion that any member of the public was threatened by the knife.

“This was a one-off incident, it was a mistake and he deeply regrets it.”

Chairman of the bench Delia Liddle, told Johnson he could have caused “devastation” with the weapon.

She added: “It was pre-meditated and it was a dangerous weapon.

“It could have had devastating consequences if it was used.”

Magistrates handed Johnson an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for a year.

He was also ordered to take part in a 12-month supervision requirement and attend 23 sessions on a Thinking Skills course.

He was made to pay £85 court costs.

Magistrates ordered the knife be forfeited and destroyed.