Teenager facing jail for carrying knives onto railway station platform
A teenager faces at least six months in jail after being caught carrying two large kitchen knives in his waistband onto a railway station platform.
Aaron Neziri, 18, of no fixed address, told police he used the weapons as utensils when arrested at Bury St Edmunds railway station.
Neziri could have been sentenced this Friday, following the preparation of a report by the probation service, but a bench of three magistrates committed the case to a judge after hearing the teenager had been previously convicted of carrying an axe in a public place.
Neziri was one of two men arrested during an incident which led to the suspension of trains at the station on July 11.
He admitted possession of a knife or bladed article in a public place at court on July 12 and was remanded in custody until this week's hearing.
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Meanwhile, on July 13, Flynn Matthews, 22, of Eldith Avenue, Fordham, in Cambridgeshire, admitted possession of a knife or bladed article and obstructing an officer at the same court.
Both men are now due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on a date to be fixed.
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As a juvenile, Neziri was convicted of carrying an axe in a public place, and handed a Detention Training Order (DTO) after breaching the conditions of a youth referral order.
Since 2015, repeat offenders have faced minimum custodial sentences unless it would be demonstrably unjust.
Dino Barricella, representing Neziri, invited magistrates to impose a community order or a suspended period of imprisonment, due to the circumstances of the offence, the defendant's age, and his vulnerability.
He said the weapons had remained tucked in Neziri's waistband, and never produced until he disclosed being in possession of them to an arresting officer.
Mr Barricella said Neziri was homeless at the time of the incident and was using the knives as tools or utensils.
He described Neziri's upbringing as "traumatic", and spent largely in the care system, where he was approached and recruited by members the J-Block street gang in Ipswich.
But, said Mr Barricella, the teenager had "distanced himself, totally" from gang activity since serving out the DTO.