Cumbria Crack

Knife criminals warned courts will “come down hard” on them

Lonsdale Street in Carlisle

A MAN caught carrying a blade in Carlisle city centre has been jailed by a judge who warned the courts would “come down hard” on knife offenders.

Police were called to Lonsdale Street at around 4-20pm on July 2 amid reports a man was “intoxicated” and being a nuisance in a convenience store.

That man was 36-year-old Lee Paul Kelton, who was arrested and found to have a Stanley knife with a locking mechanism in his pocket. In interview, Kelton, of John Street, Carlisle, accepted his guilt, saying he forgot the implement – which he used to carry out bike repairs – was in his pocket when he went out in public that day.

At Carlisle Crown Court today (THURS), Kelton – a man with personal difficulties for which he was seeking help – admitted bladed article possession. The court heard he had a similar crime on his record, which triggered a minimum six-month prison term. Recorder Michael Blakey jailed him for eight months.

“The possession of weapons, particularly knives, has become an epidemic,” said Recorder Blakey. “The message has to go out, and the court has to comply with its duty and tell those outside who are intending to possess a knife – or anything else – that the courts will come down hard on them.”

He directed that Kelton’s knife should be forfeited and destroyed.