Teen caught carrying martial arts-style knife

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A St Helens man has admitted carrying a martial arts-style knife in public.

Peter Ratcliffe was stopped by officers near St Helens Police Station and spoken to while on his way to a party on October 31.

The 19-year-old was found to be carrying a martial arts-style lock knife.

Ratcliffe, of Union Street, St Helens, made a full and frank admission to a possession allegation in a subsequent police interview.

He also admitted that he had no reasonable excuse for carrying the blade and pleaded guilty in his first appearance before St Helens Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Paul Potter, defending, told how his client had no previous convictions and deserved credit for his co-operation with the police and early guilty plea.

He admitted that the knife itself was “not a pretty sight” but claimed that Ratcliffe had simply forgotten it was in his pocket.

Mr Potter also told how the knife had not been brandished in any way and revealed that his client was a student who had hoped to join the army until suffering a spell of mental ill-health.

He added that the knife was the type which might be thrown at a target.

Magistrates, who were shown an image of the blade by the prosecution, asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service.

They adjourned the case until December 9.

Ratcliffe was granted unconditional bail until that date.