A CARLISLE teenager has been praised for positive steps he has taken to address issues which led him to have a knife in his possession in public.

The 17-year-old, who can’t be identified because of his age, appeared at the city’s youth court following an incident in the city on September 22.

It was at around 4-15pm when a police constable was tasked with searching for the teen. “There were concerns for his welfare,” said prosecutor Peter Bardsley.

The teen was located in Dalston Road but initially didn’t want to speak with the PC. “The officer noted he had blood on his hand and wrist,” said Mr Bardsley.

He did then agree to talk. He said he had earlier self-harmed and spoke of his mental health suffering and wanting some space.

A lock knife was found in his possession during a search by the PC. When interviewed, he admitted using it to self-harm at his address. “He had put the knife in a coat pocket, left home and forgot he had the knife,” said the prosecutor. “He knew it was an offence and was wrong.”

Defence lawyer Ant Wilson said the teen hadn’t produced the blade. “There was no intention to do so or to threaten anybody with it. He was going through a really bad patch at the time,” said Mr Wilson.

The teen’s mum had provided a very helpful letter containing background information. The teen was a “completely different lad” to the one Mr Wilson had encountered initially at the police station, he said.

“He is respectful to the court, has a nice shirt and tie on. He has taken steps to address the issues that he has had. There just (now) seems to be a world of difference,” added Mr Wilson.

Addressing magistrates, the teen said he had “completely forgot” about having the knife in public. He outlined a number of the positive steps he had taken since.

His mum told the Bench: “He is a lot better than he was.” She added: “I want to say how proud I am of him for getting up to speak to you. It is a big thing for him.”

The court clerk told the teen: “It is very difficult to speak publicly. Well done.”

His mum also spoke of the approach to her son’s challenges, saying: “It’s not easy as parents. You try your best. You don’t always feel you are doing it. All you can do is keep going. All the small steps are huge.”

The teen was made subject to a referral order for four months.

“You will meet with the youth justice service and they will give you various tasks and support to hopefully prevent you from reoffending,” said lead magistrate Keith Southward.

“We think we all agree it is not going to happen again, is it?” Mr Southward asked, referring to the offence.

“No, it won’t,” the teen replied.