A MAN caught carrying a blade in the street by police on patrol has been spared jail.
Officers on the beat in Finchale Road, Hebburn, spotted Karl Barker kicking a football and hiding what they believed to be a knife with his right arm.
They approached the 30-year-old and saw he was holding a bladed tool described as a garden sheath.
Following his arrest, a house search was authorised at his then home in Finchale Road, and police found a quantity of amphetamine.
Barker, of Douglas Parade, Hebburn, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to possession of an offensive weapon and a Class B drug in November last year.
John McGlone, prosecuting, said: “Police were on mobile patrol when they saw Barker kicking a football and using his right arm to hide what appeared to be a knife.
“They approached him, and he was holding an implement described as a garden sheath.
“It was bent at a right angle and had two cutting blades to it.
“When interviewed, he said he had found it on a building site in St Luke’s Lane and was going to take it home.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “He has picked up what appears to be a pair of garden secateurs, described as a garden sheath.”
Barker also admitted stealing £2.99 worth of food from St Matthew’s Service Station in Jarrow on Thursday, February 12, as well as a charge of failing to appear at court and three counts of comitting offences while subject to a conditional discharge.
District Judge Helen Cousins said: “These matters are very serious.
“I feel the offences do pass the custody threshold.
“I will impose a prison sentence, but I will suspend it.”
Barker was given an 18-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.