A TEENAGER is to be punished in the community after being caught with a four-inch kitchen knife.

Nathan Whittle, 18, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to having a sharply pointed article in a public place on May 3 when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly said police exercised their powers to search the defendant on October 27 last year and located a four-inch, black-handled kitchen knife in his rucksack.

The court heard the defendant told officers he could not give any reasons as to why the knife was in his bag. 

The court was told Whittle was aged 17 at the time of the offence.

However, because the case was brought to court when he was aged 18, he was sentenced legally as if he were an adult. 

In mitigation, Andy Gallagher said the defendant was surprised when the officer found the knife as he later recalled he had lent it to his brother to use whilst out fishing.

He said: “The defendant is a sensible young man who acknowledges his wrongdoing and has shown positive signs of maturity since the commission of the offence. He takes full responsibility for his actions.

“He is a young man who has had a challenging youth for a number of reasons. He wishes now to move on with his life. He is not currently in employment and is in receipt of universal credit."

As a result of his guilty plea at the first opportunity, magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with requirements to complete 15 rehabilitation requirement days and 60 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Whittle was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £114.

A deprivation order of the knife was also sought by magistrates.