Possession of knife may mean jail

PUBLISHED: 14:25 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:47 04 May 2010

THE current knife amnesty had no effect on Ely man Stephan Mann - and now he is facing a jail sentence for having a six-inch bladed combat knife in the city. The weapon came to light after Mann called out the police, claiming he was being chased by a gang

THE current knife amnesty had no effect on Ely man Stephan Mann - and now he is facing a jail sentence for having a six-inch bladed combat knife in the city.

The weapon came to light after Mann called out the police, claiming he was being chased by a gang and had taken refuge in a garage.

When officers arrived he handed over the weapon, hidden in his trousers.

"The amnesty is to encourage young men to get rid of knives because of the consequences of what can happen when knives are produced in circumstances of conflict," prosecutor Matthew Bradbury told city magistrates on Thursday.

"The carrying of knives in public is of topical interest at the moment."

Mann, 22, of Windmill Close, Ely, admitted possessing a bladed article at the junction of Broad Street and Jubilee Terrace on May 26.

Mann had called the police at 9.55pm, saying he had taken refuge in a garage and was scared for his life, said Mr Bradbury.

He claimed more than 10 people had threatened to hurt him, and he could hear them outside.

It was all quiet when police arrived on the scene, but they found Mann, agitated and smelling of drink.

Officers asked if he had anything that could be harmful, and he indicated the knife with a 6.75 inch blade.

Mann claimed to have found the knife in the garage where he hid, but the garage owner had no knowledge of it.

"He could not remember what he told the police because he was too drunk," said Mr Bradbury. "He kept the knife as an ornament, he was proud of it and took it out to show a friend in Ely."

Mann had a previous conviction for possessing a bladed article, and was given a three-month sentence in a young offenders' institute in 2004.

"We are considering a jail sentence for punishment and the protection of the public," he was told by presiding magistrate Lt Col Johnny Kaye.

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