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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Pub ban for Carlisle man caught carrying knife

A man has been given a Christmas pub-and-club curfew after Facebook threats led to him carrying an 8in knife in public.

Stephen Patrick Lavery, 22, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of a bladed article.

Alan Lovatt, defending, told Judge Peter Hughes QC that with Lavery “drink is the root of the problem.”

The court heard that at about 7.50pm on September 14, concerned members of the public reported to police that a man on Upperby Road, Carlisle, was behaving strangely and carrying a large knife.

They arrived with Tasers to find Lavery at the scene.

Lavery, of nearby Sunnymeade, was told to get on the ground, which he did immediately before giving the knife to officers. He had a black eye, a swollen lip and dried blood on his face, and appeared to be drunk.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, said: “Lavery said he had been assaulted by a man he had met earlier in a pub.

“He had gone home but was intending to go to a friend’s house to avoid the man [who assaulted him] and armed himself with a knife in case he came across the man.”

“He said he wanted it for show rather than to inflict any damage with it.”

Judge Hughes was told that Lavery has a significant criminal record, with his first offence at the age of 13. He has previous convictions for criminal damage, threats and antisocial behaviour.

In mitigation, the court heard that Lavery, who himself has been a stabbing victim, has problems with alcohol. Mr Lovatt said: “He has a very poor record and drink is the root of the problem.

“Clearly this is a situation where he was a victim to start with and he felt some element of fear as a consequence of Facebook messages that were circulating.

“He intends to get the bull by the horns and take himself away from this lifestyle.”

The court heard that Lavery had been co-operative with officers and admitted his guilt at the earliest available opportunity.

Judge Hughes said: “The situation could so easily have got out of hand and somebody might have taken that knife out of your hand and turned it on you. It could easily have escalated into violence and serious injury.

“Because Christmas and new year are coming up I’m going to impose an eight-week curfew to keep you away from the pubs and clubs of the festive season.”

Lavery was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as a 12-month supervision order and 120 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to attend an alcohol treatment programme.

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