Fareham teenager caught with 'large' knife in Sainsbury's elbowed detention officer in the face

A TEENAGER who took a knife out to cut free a dog toy caught in brambles has served time in prison after elbowing a detention officer.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 12:13 pm

Alex Cartwright went to Sainsbury’s in Fareham with a large knife on his belt on February 24, magistrates were told.

The 19-year-old was buying alcohol and a replacement dog toy, having not been able to recover the toy, but worried store staff informed police when they spotted the blade.

Police stopped him when he was out in public, prosecutor Giles Fletcher said.

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Portsmouth Magistrates' Court Picture: Chris Moorhouse

But when in custody he elbowed a detention officer in the face catching her eye ‘with some force’ causing ‘pain and discomfort’ the next day.

Cartwright admitted the assault but claimed it was reckless, catching the ‘quite short’ officer in the face as he moved his elbow.

The officer, who joined the force in 2008, said she was ‘very disappointed’ to have been assaulted.

Cartwright’s solicitor Lian Webster said: ‘He was very distressed and extremely apologetic.’

Cartwright had been remanded at HMP Bronzefield, a women’s prison and young offenders’ institution, and found it ‘extremely traumatic,’ she said.

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During the pandemic prisoners have just 15 minutes a day out of their cells – and have to choose to either shower or have a hot meal, Ms Webster told Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity days and a two-month curfew between 7pm-7am. He must pay £40 compensation to the officer.

Cartwright, of Wickham Road in Fareham, admitted assaulting an emergency worker, possession of a knife – his second knife offence – damaging an electronic tag from a previous curfew and damaging a window.

Magistrates said it would be ‘unjust’ to impose a prison sentence given the pandemic, the knife wasn’t used in dangerous circumstances, Cartwright is vulnerable and has poor mental health.

He is also complying with probation, magistrates said.

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