A TEENAGER who put an eight-inch kitchen knife up his sleeve “to give him self-confidence and to scare people” has been slammed by magistrates.
Neil Bromley told justices at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that he put the large knife up the sleeve of his jacket to “scare off” a gang of people who had been giving him some trouble.
The 18-year-old said he had no intention of hurting anyone.
But chairman of the bench Peter Heron frowned upon the carpentry student, however, saying the outcome of his actions could have been so much worse.
He said: “Anyone who goes out with a knife could injure someone and that injury could be potentially fatal, particularly from an eight-inch bladed knife.
“There are other routes you could have taken without resorting to taking a knife. This bench hope that you never resort to that again.”
Mr Heron fined him £180, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The court heard that Bromley was out with friends in the Milbank Road area of Hartlepool when police were informed that he had the weapon.
The officers stopped the defendant and he was searched and found with it.
Prosecuting, Lynne Roberts-Plowman told justices: “It was 10am when police were informed of a group of youths and one had a knife up the sleeve of his jacket.
“Police stopped a group of males and females and the defendant was searched and found in possession of the eight-inch knife. He said that carried the knife to give him self-confidence and to scare people off.
“He said he had not taken it out with the intention to assault anyone.”
Bromley, of Milbank Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon on June 11.
Mitigating, Neil Taylor said his client had been having problems with another group of people who live near to him and he chose to carry the knife in order to “frighten them away”.
He said: “He wasn’t brandishing the knife at all and he fully co-operated with police when they arrived.
“At best it was an act of stupidity because carrying knives is a major concern in the big cities around this country where gangs are wandering around with knives causing mayhem to the community and to themselves.
“I don’t think this is the case here. This is a young man who has been trying to frighten people to leave him alone. The sad thing is he chose to do what he did rather than speak to a police officer.
“He’s never been in trouble before, finished school, went to college but didn’t go back to his third year because he couldn’t get a placement as a carpenter.
“He’s still looking for a placement so he can finish his third year.”