Man with kitchen knife ‘protruding from jeans’ arrested at music event

Police were called after Jason OReilly was spotted with a knife in Haverhill Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Police were called after Jason OReilly was spotted with a knife in Haverhill Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A man found with the pointed end of a large kitchen knife protruding from his jeans at a live music event has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Jason O'Reilly was witnessed repeatedly dropping and retrieving an eight-inch knife from the ground during a public concert in a Suffolk town on August 17.

The 50-year-old initially told police he found the blade and was intent on disposing of it - but he later admitted not having lawful authority or a reasonable excuse for carrying the weapon.

O'Reilly appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich, on video link from Bury St Edmunds police investigation centre, where he was taken into custody following his arrest at 8.24pm on Saturday.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said there had been a large gathering of people present for the free tribute band event on Market Square, in Haverhill.

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"Police received a report of a male who had dropped a knife on the ground and picked it up on several occasions," Mr Ablett told the court.

"He was located and spoke to by an officer, who saw the blade protruding through the denim of the defendant's jeans.

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"He said he'd found the knife at Market Square and intended to put it in a bin to keep it away from children - but had dropped it a couple of times and decided to put it in his pocket."

Sue Threadkell, mitigating, said O'Reilly had entered a prompt guilty plea after taking advice on the law surrounding possession of bladed articles in public.

Lawful authority only applies to those who carry an offensive weapon as a matter of duty, while a reasonable excuse could be used as a defence if the accused was in anticipation of imminent attack.

"While it was his intention to put the knife in the bin, the only bin available was one for public use," said Mrs Threadkell.

"He thought it probably wasn't a good idea to put a knife in it."

Mrs Threadkell, said O'Reilly had managed to kick a 20-year drug dependency and had, of late, not troubled the courts in the way he had as a younger man.

"He has been doing his best to keep away from the criminal justice system," she said.

"He picked up the knife with the intention of putting it in a bin."

O'Reilly, of Pipers Close, Haverhill, was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

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