A YOUNG man caught with a penknife near a skate park explained that he used it for changing strings on his guitar but this claim did not strike a chord with the judge.
Seán Cashman of Cork Foyer, Assumption Road, Cork, was convicted and fined €300 by Judge Olann Kelleher at Cork District Court for carrying the knife without a lawful excuse.
Cashman claimed that his lawful excuse for having the knife was for using it to remove a peg from the guitar when replacing a broken string.
Garda Kevin Coholan was on duty on Sunday afternoon, February 24 on Mardyke Walk and he approached Seán Cashman at the skate park and noticed him drop a penknife.
On the afternoon he was asked why he dropped it and he replied: “Panic over a violation of the law.”
Asked why he had the knife he said: “I use it to get pegs out of the guitar.”
He also said he carried it to fix his bike and skateboard but he had neither of those with him that day.
He did have a guitar with him.
He said some people were drinking cans and he was going to play guitar while hanging with friends.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, submitted that it was a valid reason for having a penknife.
Judge Kelleher said the defendant seemed to be an articulate young man who understood the law.
The judge said he could not understand why the young man would put himself at risk by carrying the knife.
The defendant replied, “The balance of getting caught with it with the practical use of it.”
Mr Buttimer said there was nothing to suggest the accused had it for any sinister reason.
Judge Kelleher said the defendant had not justified having the knife and he convicted him for having it and fined him €300.
“I find it incredible that someone as intelligent as he is would be carrying a knife all the time,” the judge said.
Mr Buttimer said the young man did not carry a penknife anymore.