A TEENAGER who admitted possessing a kitchen knife in public has been spared jail by a judge who told him: ‘I’m giving you the chance.’
Ian Scogings, 18, was arrested after being caught on CCTV putting the knife into a bin near Liquid & Envy Nightclub in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, in the early hours.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the teenager had ‘no intention’ of using the weapon, but took it with him after receiving a call from his girlfriend who said she was being harassed by a man inside the club.
On arrival, his girlfriend was outside the club and Scogings confronted the man.
Unyime Davies, prosecuting, said: ‘He confronted the male, asking him why he had been harassing his girlfriend.
‘Scogings then claimed the man said “she’s sexy” and headbutted Mr Scogings.
‘Scogings said he feared he would be assaulted further and so pulled the kitchen knife then.’
Miss Davies said Scogings told police he did not know if the other man had seen to knife and made no attempt to assault him.
She added: ‘He said he got rid of the knife and put it in the bin because he knew he shouldn’t have it.’
Hannah Smith, defending, said the incident was ‘out of character’ and said Scogings is ‘highly unlikely ever to cross the criminal justice system’s path again’.
Scogings, of Laburnum Grove, North End, Portsmouth, admitted a charge of possessing an offensive weapon on August 25.
He was sentenced to 32 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.
He was also given a curfew ordering him not to leave home between 8pm and 7am for four months and told to pay £150 costs.
Judge Ian Pearson, sentencing, said: ‘This offence is serious because there was a significant element of premeditation.
‘You deliberately set off with the knife, not with the intention of wounding but with the intention of intimidating other people. This event could have ended in tragedy.’
He added: ‘I have given you the chance because I don’t want to blight a young man’s life when it is not absolutely necessary to send him to custody.’
An order was made for the knife to be forfeited and destroyed.