Knife fiend hit by new sentencing rules

Gary Catterall, 38, from St Helens, has been jailed for possession of a knife
Gary Catterall, 38, from St Helens, has been jailed for possession of a knife
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A St Helens man has become one of the first in the country to be sentenced under tough new laws designed to tackle knife crime.

Gary Catterall was convicted of two separate offences and was jailed under new guidelines introduced last month.

The 38-year-old was charged with carrying a knife after he was arrested following an incident in April but failed to turn up to his trial.

He was found guilty in his absence and was due to be sentenced next week.

However, before then he was arrested and charged with another knife offence and possession of crack cocaine.

He was found guilty of those two offences and sentenced last week.

Under new guidelines, anyone found guilty of two knife offence should be sentenced to a minimum of six months in prison.

Catterall, of Wasdale Avenue, Carr Mill, admitted the second offence and was therefore given a 20 per cent reduction to his jail term and will now serve 21 months.

Associate Prosecutor Andrew Page said: “This is very new legislation which should send out a message that there will be no lenient sentences for knife crime. People who persistently carry knives in public can expect immediate custodial sentences.”