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Man who told police he had knife ‘for protection’ must await sentence

Police had been tasked to a report of a fight between two males on Elmwood Terrace in Lurgan

A Lurgan man who told police that a knife found in his possession was “for protection” must wait until next month to learn his fate.

The 34-year-old’s solicitor told court: “He has ongoing mental health problems, he is also an alcoholic and was assaulted quite badly at the start of the year in Belfast.”

Mark William Cairns, of Russell Drive, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to a single charge of possession of a bladed article in a public place at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 13, police were tasked to a report of a fight between two males on Elmwood Terrace in Lurgan.

Upon arrival, officers observed that the defendant had a knife in his right trouser pocket.

When questioned about this, Cairns told police that the knife was “for protection”.

District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “I think that maybe I should get a short report as he doesn’t have any good reason for having a knife with him.”

Defence solicitor Joseph McDonald stated: “He has ongoing mental health problems, he is also an alcoholic and was assaulted quite badly at the start of the year in Belfast. He was mugged and beaten quite badly.”

District Judge Watters stated: “I am going to stop you there”, as she ordered a presentence report and adjourned the case until September 23 for disposal.

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