A MAN spared jail for carrying a blade for the third time told the judge he thought he had got it wrong and he deserved to go to prison – and he got his wish.
Marcus Henry had just been given a suspended prison sentence at Burnley Crown Court after a worried member of the public told police Henry had been seen with a knife in a Colne pub.
The defendant, who had been so drunk at the time of the incident he could remember little of what went on, had told Judge Jonathan Gibson he was sorry to interrupt him and asked if he could say something.
He then told the judge: “I think you are making the wrong decision. I think I should go to prison and I don’t think a suspended sentence is a good idea.”
The judge remanded Henry to the court cells and allowed his counsel, Miss Caroline Patrick, time to see him.
After another case was dealt with, the defendant was brought back up into court and Miss Patrick told the judge: “He is absolutely adamant he wants Your Honour to send him to prison, as he feels he deserves it.”
The defendant (22), of School Street, Nelson, had admitted possessing an article with a blade on May 12th and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. He was locked up for eight months.
Mr David Macro (prosecuting) told the court at 1-30 a.m., police were in Market Street, Colne, opposite the Union Exchange pub when a member of the public said a man had shown him a knife. He described the man to the police.
Officers saw Henry outside the pub, went to speak to him and took him away from other members of the public. He appeared to be under the influence of something and smelled of drink.
The defendant was told he was going to be searched and replied: “You are only searching me because of my colour.”
Police found a combat knife with an eight-inch blade down the front of his right trouser leg. They also discovered a syringe in his jacket pocket and a fresh injection mark on his right bicep.
Mr Macro said Henry was interviewed and said he could remember very little of the night’s events.
Henry said he had been drinking heavily from 2 p.m. the day before after going to a friend’s house. The defendant denied taking any drugs, but accepted he had been very drunk.
The hearing was told Henry had two previous convictions for having an article with a blade and was also convicted of threatening behaviour on one of the occasions.
Miss Patrick, who described the defendant as intelligent, said: “His recollection of this incident is vague to say the least. He fully acknowledges that was as a result of the large amount of alcohol that he had had with his friends.”
The barrister said the defendant had no explanation for the syringe and needle mark and was “somewhat perplexed” about that.
He categorically denied taking drugs.
Miss Patrick continued: “This knife he had never seen before. It certainly wasn’t his. He has been told since by friends he was with that the knife had been presented by somebody else in the town centre and it was hidden. Marcus Henry then, he believes, went to retrieve that knife once that person had hidden it and left the area. He doesn’t know why.”
Passing the suspended term, Judge Gibson had told Henry: “There is no evidence of any planned use of the weapon, no evidence of you targeting anybody with it and no evidence of you wielding it or using it.
“It seems to me can be particularly acute when you have had too much to drink.”