Hartlepool skip thief had knife in underpants

General view of Tankerville Street in Hartlepool.
General view of Tankerville Street in Hartlepool.

A man seen taking a barbecue from a skip hid a knife in his underpants.

Police were called after a member of the public saw Michael Archibald with another knife sticking out of his back pocket, Hartlepool Magistrates’s Court heard.

In many ways, he is a desperate man.

Sheila Ramshaw, defending

“The skip was in Tankerville Street in Hartlepool,” said David Carmichael, prosecuting. “Police seized the knife at the roadside and also a screwdriver which Archibald had in his pocket.

“A more thorough search of him was done at the police station.

“This recovered a small amount of cannabis resin, and a small knife from his underwear.”

The court heard Archibald was arrested again six weeks later when he tried to steal a trailer parked on the drive of a house in Suggitt Street, Hartlepool.

“The householder had gone out to walk her dog,” said Mr Carmichael. “She returned 10 minutes later to find the trailer had been moved, and Archibald standing near it.

“She challenged him and he started to mumble something, although he was clearly under the influence of either drink or drugs.

“Archibald then walked into the street and approached a Citroen car, pulling hard on its door handle in an attempt to open it.

“Police were called and he was arrested.”

Archibald, 32, of Sheriff Street, Hartlepool, admitted two charges of possessing a bladed article, and one charge of possessing a class- B drug, all on June 18.

He admitted attempted theft and vehicle interference, both on July 25.

The court heard he has a ‘lengthy’ list of previous convictions starting in 1998, including 52 offences of theft.

Sheila Ramshaw, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Archibald found the knife with the barbecue in the skip.

“It was not waved around, and he had no intention of using it to threaten or harm anyone.

“He cannot remember the later set of offences.

“Mr Archibald lives with his mother, and suffers from severe depression.

“He finds he cannot cope and goes off on one.

“In many ways, he is a desperate man.”

Archibald was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, 20 days of drug rehabilitation activity, and ordered to pay £340 costs.

Bench chairman Joan Fenwick told him: “You must understand this is getting serious.

“You must comply with probation or face prison.”