A WEST Cumbrian man with learning difficulties phoned the police in Carlisle to report himself for carrying two knives.

The city's crown court heard that it was the third time Stuart Barrow, 32, had contacted the police to alert them to his weapon carrying - something he did as a dramatic cry for help.

The defendant, of Bankside, Distington, admitted carrying knifes in a public place.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said the defendant's latest - and third - offence of this kind came to light at 4.25am on October 5 when Barrow called the police, telling them he was on Newtown Road in Carlisle and that he was carrying knives.

Police caught up with him 20 minutes later on Castle Way.

"The officers approached him and he was cooperative and calm, and produced his hands when told he'd be handcuffed," said Mr Rogerson.

He told the officers he had two knives - one in the pocket of his tracksuit bottoms and the other in his jacket pocket.

Both Stanley-type knife type blades were seized by the officers.

The court heart that Barrow has 57 offences on his criminal record.

They included carrying a meat cleaver in public in December, 2017, when he also alerted police to his offence and a further one in May of 2018, when he was carrying a kitchen knife.

For that offence, he was given the statutory two-strikes sentence of six months jail for knife carrying in public.

"It might be regarded as a dramatic cry for help," said Mr Rogerson, referring to the defendant's habit of reporting himself for carrying knives.

John Smith, for Barrow, said the defendant suffered from mild learning difficulties.

He said Barrow himself had described his offences as cries for help.

The lawyer said: "I've suggested to Mr Barrow that he may need to find a different method of crying for help."

This was because such offences - when repeated - usually attract a minimum six month jail term.

Judge Julie Cleminson noted that the latest offence was committed in the early hours of the morning, when few people were around.

But she told the defendant: "You have mild learning difficulties but that doesn't mean that you don't understand you should not take knives out on to the streets."

She noted his offence had presented little risk to other people, given the time of day, but she added: "You are a nuisance... You should understand that if you keep doing this you will be going to prison for a longer and longer time."

She jailed Barrow for 21 weeks.