Offender arrested in possession of a knife during disturbance in Harehills

A convicted robber who was arrested in possession of a knife during a disturbance in Leeds has avoided being sent to prison.

Damien Hutchinson was arrested after police were called to Harehills Lane in Leeds on April 21 this year.

Becky Jane, prosecuting, said Hutchinson approached a couple in the street and asked them for a cigarette.

The 39-year-old defendant became aggressive and confrontational when they refused to give him one.

Leeds Crown Court

The couple became concerned when they saw that Hutchinson was carrying a knife.

Ms Jane said Hutchinson continued to be aggressive towards the officers when they approached him.

He was searched and found in possession of a three-inch blade which was in his jacket pocket.

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The court heard Hutchinson was jailed for nine years in 2009 for an offence of robbery.

He has also served a prison sentence for assault.

A probation officer described Hutchinson as having "limited insight" of the impact of carrying knives in public.

Michael Walsh, prosecuting, said Hutchinson pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

Mr Walsh said Hutchison had not used the weapon to threaten the couple.

Hutchinson was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC said: "The carrying of knives in public places is obviously a serious offence, because of the injuries that can be caused by irate people arming themselves with this type of weapon.

"Although no one is suggesting you threatened anyone with it, people seeing you irate in a public place with a knife is likely to cause concern.

"What saves you (from going immediately to prison) is that your offending has slowed down and I am prepared to give you a chance."