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Man who had knife with six-inch blade in public claimed he used it to cut sticks for his dog to chew

It was revealed he had 'been before the court for a similar offence in the not too distant past'

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A Portadown man has appeared in court for the second time for possessing a knife in public.

The 37-year-old’s solicitor stated that the defendant claimed to use the knife to cut sticks up for his dog to chew.

Zilvinas Levinskas, of Jervis Street, appeared for sentencing on possession of a bladed article in a public place at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on September 14, at around 3pm, police on patrol in Portadown observed four males acting suspiciously in a public garden on West Street.

As officers approached one of the men, the defendant, attempted to leave but was advised to remain.

A search was conducted of Levinskas during which a solid knife with a six inch blade was located in a bag.

When interviewed, the defendant made full admissions saying he had the knife to cut sticks from trees for his dog and did not know it was an offence to have a knife in public.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid stated: “That was not true as he does have a previous entry on his record, but he was not brandishing the knife.

“He did have a dog with him and claims he used the knife to cut up sticks for the dog to chew on.”

He added: “He always admitted to having the knife in public. He took advice from me on the phone and this was only contested for us to see the exhibit, when we did it was accepted it did satisfy the legislation.

“He has been assessed as having a medium likelihood of reoffending. That is fair given he has a previous for a similar offence.”

Mr Reid said: “On that occasion he was bound over for 18 months for a knife which he used in his employment. He does currently have a live suspended sentence but that it for a different offence.”

District Judge Mark McGarrity stated: “This is a serious offence, especially given that you have been before the court for a similar offence in the not too distant past.

“I do believe that you would benefit from a probation order.”

Levinskas was sentenced to 18 months probation for the offence.

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