Defendant ‘whisker away’ from prison

A Lurgan man was told he was just ‘a whisker away’ from a custodial sentence when he appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Court.

Thomas Hamilton (19) of Lower Toberhewny Lane was given 100 hours community service and put on probation for 12 months for unlawful possession of a knife in October 20 last year.

The court heard that police received a report of a male carrying a knife and they saw the defendant at Pollock Drive. A large black handled knife was in his back pocket.

He told police he was only carrying it at the request of his mother who had asked him to bring it from a friend’s house. His mother said she did not make this request.

Mr Richard Monteith, representing the defendant, said Hamilton had taken the knife from his girlfriend’s kitchen and she had phoned the police to say he had a bread knife with him and was heading for his home address.

He added that in his drunken state Hamilton had said it was for his mother but his mother said this was a load of nonsense.

District Judge Mr Mervyn Bates pointed out Hamilton had been dealt with for riotous behaviour in July and then committed this offence. He had a suspended sentence hanging over him.

Judge Bates said gave him credit for the fact that the knife was not in public view but in his pocket.