AN odd-job man was hauled before magistrates for carrying a craft knife in his pocket.
David Holroyd had been given permission by double glazing company Prima Window to scrape the rubber from its old windows using the knife, and then take the scrap metal to be weighed in for cash.
But on his way to the scrap dealers with the bag of metal on his back, Holroyd was stopped by police after a member of the public tipped them off believing he may have stolen it.
However, despite checks proving he had legitimately gathered the goods, officers decided to search him and came across the knife in his pocket.
They then arrested and charged the 53-year-old with possession of a blade or sharp pointed article, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court was told.
Holroyd, who is unemployed and lives in Ivy Grove, in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the offence on Monday and was sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge.
Chairman of the bench Keith Kitching said he did not believe “there was anything malicious in carrying the knife”, and added: “At the end of the day you were just unlucky that police searched you.”
When approached by the Mail, Mr Holroyd said he thought he had been “picked on” by the police but declined to comment further.
Prosecuting, Samantha Morgan-Bayliss said Holroyd had been given permission to prepare the metal for scrap by the company – which is based in Park View Industrial Estate, off Brenda Road.
She told the court: “The incident occurred on the afternoon of Monday, February 14, when Mr Holroyd was stop-checked in Thomlinson Road, Hartlepool.
“He had been seen carrying some pieces of metal in a bag over his shoulder. A knife was found in his pocket and he was arrested.
“He was initially stopped regarding the metal he had on him but it transpired that he had permission to take the scrap from the Prima double glazing factory.
“He said he didn’t know it was an offence to carry a bladed article, and he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.”
Mitigating, Helen Adams urged the bench to deal with her client as leniently as possible given the circumstances.
“He was stopped by police because there had been metal thefts in that area, but he had a legitimate reason for that,” she said.
“He had been scraping rubber from the windows using a knife. He had full permission so there was no criminal activity there.
“He did have the knife in his possession. I’d ask you to deal with him as leniently as you can.”