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Wednesday, 01 April 2015

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Carlisle alcoholic who swapped cigarette for knife jailed

A Carlisle man with chronic alcoholism who swapped a cigarette for a lock-knife ended up paying heavily for it – with a six-month jail sentence.

Anthony Sheckley, 45, had the weapon on him when police arrested him for behaving aggressively in Botchergate on July 23 last year, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

When the officers searched him, they found the knife in the pocket of his track suit bottoms, said prosecutor Dick Binstead.

“Told that he was also being arrested for possession of a bladed item, he said ‘What’s the problem? Everyone carries one’” From the dock, Sheckley, of Henderson Road, Currock, denied having said that.

When interviewed by police, he said he met some boys near a riverbank, and one offered him the knife in exchange for a cigarette, so he agreed.

“He said his intention was to put it in his own fishing box when he got home and use it for this legitimate purpose.”

The court heard that Sheckley had convictions dating back to 1983. A former drug user, he had developed a chronic addiction to alcohol and spent most of his time with his dogs.

Kim Whittlestone, for Sheckley, said he needed the help he would get from a rehabilitation unit where he could withdraw from alcohol use.

She said there would be nobody to look after her client’s dogs if he went to jail.

Noting he had a previous conviction for carrying a bladed article in a public place, Judge Barbara Forrester told the defendant: “You knew it was illegal to have a knife in your possession.”

She said it was clear there was no treatment currently available for Sheckley and the Probation Service felt unable to help him further.

The judge added that Sheckley should take advantage of the help on offer to him in prison.


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