A 25-YEAR-OLD Scarborough man has been sent to prison for eight weeks after he admitted carrying a knife in a public place.
Damian John Hunter, of Queen’s Terrace, also pleaded guilty to a charge of shop theft when he appeared before Scarborough magistrates yesterday.
Kathryn Reeve, prosecuting, said Hunter had entered Tesco during the early hours of Monday, September 17, with a friend and pocketed confectionary items worth a total of £4.99.
She said: “He had no money on him. He selected several items and made no attempt to pay for the goods.”
Ms Reeve added that a member of staff spoke to the other person and Hunter stayed at the scene. She said: “He admitted he’d stolen the items and all the goods were recovered.”
Hunter was arrested and later interviewed by police. Ms Reeve said: “He fully admitted that he went into the store. He said he was hungry.”
After he was interviewed Hunter was released on police bail and two days later he was stopped by police at 8.10pm in Trafalgar Square. Ms Reeve said: “The knife wasn’t recovered from the defendant but it was recovered from under a nearby car.”
She described the knife as a “cheese knife with a four inch blade” and said that Hunter was arrested for “possession of a bladed article”.
Ms Reeve said: “He said to officers ‘I just wanted you to know that the knife was for me – my girlfriend has left me’.”
She said that Hunter was at a family celebration and had been drunk when he argued with his girlfriend and later tried to harm himself. She added: “He was in the kitchen and started to cut his arm.”
Ms Reeve said that a friend had tried to take the knife from Hunter but he left the party and later spotted the police patrol.
Marcus Topham, in mitigation, said that his client thought his friend had money to pay for the goods from Tesco but added that the offence of carrying a knife in public would be viewed more seriously by the magistrates.
He said: “There’s no suggestion that the knife was brandished. He wasn’t intending to cause anyone any harm – apart from himself.”
Mr Topham said Hunter had been “over-emotional” following the argument and had decided to leave taking the knife with him. He said: “He sees the police car approaching and threw the knife away.
“He was seen by the medical examiner because of concerns over his mental health.”
Mr Topham said that after he was assessed by medical staff he was not referred for further treatment.
Magistrates sentenced Hunter to a total of eight weeks imprisonment for carrying the knife in public and the shoplifting offence.
He was told that the matter was so serious and they had no alternative but a custodial sentence.