A YOUNG man caught with a knife in Cork City claimed he planned on going fishing and the judge dismissed the charge of having it without having a lawful purpose but did not accept the man’s explanation for having a Stanley blade in his back pocket on the same occasion.
21-year-old Elliot Kelly of Pacelli, Commons Rd, claimed he had been changing the blade on a carpet-cutter with his brother the day before and did not remember putting one blade in his pocket.
“I put it in my pocket by mistake. I didn’t know it was there,” he said.
Sergeant John Kelleher cross-examined the young man at Cork District Court on this evidence: “You were in town with a blade. You didn’t know it was there?”
The young man replied: “Yeah, not aware.” The sergeant said: “That is your excuse.” Kelly said: “Not an excuse, it’s a fact.”
Frank Buttimer, defending, submitted at the close of the evidence: “There has to be knowledge that one has possession of it. One has to know one has it in his possession.”
Judge Olann Kelleher noted that the evidence from Garda Shane Hayes was that he saw the defendant “fidgeting” on Paul’s Lane, by Paul St, and that this was why he carried out a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Mr Buttimer challenged Garda Hayes about the basis for his search for suspected drugs and said he was not clear on any basis he might have had to ground his suspicions. Garda Hayes replied: “I would not expect you to know, Mr Buttimer, but Paul’s Lane is known for drug use.”
Mr Buttimer responded to this, saying: “I know lots of things about Paul’s Lane. I know lots of things about lots of things.”
At the close of evidence, Judge Kelleher said he was dismissing the charge of possessing the knife for an unlawful purpose. However, he convicted him in relation to the blade.
The judge noted the defendant’s claim about having the knife for fishing but said he did not accept the defendant’s evidence in relation to the blade.
Sergeant John Kelleher said the accused had eight previous convictions and had two suspended sentences hanging over him for previous offences.
Mr Buttimer said: “I would ask you to defer sentence. He had serious difficulties in terms of his social and educational circumstances. But he is doing very well compared to what he would have been dealing with 12 months ago.”
Judge Kelleher agreed to put sentencing back until January 21. The incident at the centre of the case relates to August 19,2022.