Teenager avoids jail despite being caught with a knife on South Shields’ seafront

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A South Tyneside teenager made paranoid by a cannabis addiction has been spared jail after popping for an ice cream while armed with a vicious zombie knife.

Shay Carrick, 19, was caught while queuing for refreshments at the Minchella outlet on coastal Sea Road in South Shields.

Carrick, of Fulwell Avenue, Horsley Hill, attracted police attention as the passenger of an off-road bike doing wheelies and which jumped a red light at 9.20am on Monday, May 6.

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Borough magistrates heard there are hopes he can be rehabilitated and sentenced him to a suspended 18 week prison term.

Prosecutor Paul Coulson: “Police were travelling on Sea Road when they noticed an off-road bike being driven erratically.

“It was pulling wheelies and went through a red light before coming to a stop at Minchella. The driver was unknown to them. but they recognised the pillion passenger.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' CourtThe case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court | NW

“He was waiting in the queue when instructed to move away. He smelled strongly of cannabis and was told he was being detained for a search.

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“He told officers, ‘I know I’m going to get locked up’. In his rucksack was a zombie knife and cannabis.”

Carrick, who has no previous convictions and is on state benefits, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a bladed article in public and possession of cannabis.

Jason Smith, defending, said Carrick’s family were distressed at his descent into drug abuse, adding: “At this time, he is addicted to cannabis.

“He smokes it in large volumes, and it makes him paranoid. He suffers from anxiety.

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“His friend came round and asked if he wanted to come out for an ice cream to Minchella.

“Because he was leaving the house, and because he is paranoid, he took the knife with him. It was gross stupidity.

“He also had a bag of cannabis which he always takes with him. There are mental health issues.”

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Magistrates suspended the jail term for a year and ordered Carrick to undergo 12 rehabilitation sessions and pay a £154 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

John Lee, chair of the bench, told him the country was facing an “epidemic of knife crime, with young men being stabbed almost every day”.

He said the courts had to send out a “signal” that carrying a knife was never acceptable.