A Portadown man who left the company of his uncle with a lock-knife stating that he wanted to stab someone has been sentenced to community service and probation.
The 36-year-old’s barrister told court: “Alcohol was fully a factor in this offence. In his conversations with probation, he candidly admits that his memory is patchy at best.”
Ashley Simon Gibson, of Kernan Park, appeared for sentencing on possession of an offensive weapon in a public place at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on February 1, police received a report from the defendant’s uncle who claimed that his intoxicated nephew had brandished a knife and had asked for a lift in order to go stab someone.
However, whenever his uncle refused, Gibson then went and got in a taxi to take him to his desired location.
Officers subsequently located the defendant in the vicinity of Derryhale Road in Portadown.
He was arrested and a three-inch folding lock-knife was found on his person. Gibson made no comment during interview.
Defence barrister Scott McWhinney stated: “Alcohol was fully a factor in this offence. In his conversations with probation, he candidly admits that his memory is patchy at best.”
Mr McWhinney also pointed the court to a gap in offending by his client between 2017 and this offence.
He said: “Mr Gibson is a man who by the probation service has been reported to be unfit for community service.
“For the last 12 years he has struggled with alcohol addiction. He is asking for the help at this point and probation could assist him.”
Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer questioned to assertion that Gibson was unfit for community service and a probation officer informed him that a suitable placement could be found.
The judge commented that he felt the defendant should “give back to society by doing unpaid work”.
Gibson was sentenced to an enhanced combination order consisting of 12 months probation and 80 hours community service.