Man had knife in pocket when searched

A “DROWSY” partygoer was caught in the street with a knife in his pocket.

Michael Reed was at his cousin’s party in Furness Street, in Hartlepool, and had gone outside for a smoke when police turned up.

They had been called by neighbouring residents who had complained about the noise coming from the bash.

Prosecuting, Paula Sanderson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “Police approached the front entrance and were greeted by the defendant who was standing on the path. He smelled of cannabis and appeared drowsy and his pupils were dilated.

“The officers searched him and reached into his jeans pocket and removed a kitchen knife with the blade pointing upwards. The blade was four inches long.He couldn’t provide a good reason for having the knife in his possession, and he was taken to Hartlepool Police Station.

“He was strip searched and inside his clothing a piece of cannabis resin was found.”

She added: “In interview, he said his cousin had been using the kitchen knife to cut some potatoes and he’d picked it up for no reason and placed it into the pocket of his jeans and went outside into the street.

“He admitted the substance was cannabis resin, and that he smoked it a few times a week.”

Unemployed Reed, who lives with his mum in West View Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis on May 26.

Mitigating, Adrian Morris said his client had moved from London to the town three months ago to be with his family, following the breakdown of his relationship.

He said: “He had gone to the party with his brother and his cousin was in the kitchen preparing food and she put the knife down.

“There was a toddler in the kitchen so he picked the knife up and put it in his pocket. In hindsight he should have put it in the sink or a drawer, but he put it in his pocket.

“He then went outside for a smoke and forgot it was there. Forgetfulness is not a defence but the very fact he was happy to talk to police and did not try to run away shows there was nothing sinister about this.”

Chairman of the bench Patricia Hutchison fined him £165 and ordered him to pay £15 costs.