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Court fine as man who brandished knife at three others gets life ‘back on track’

Court told he lifted knife as protection with no intention of using it

Newry courthouse police

A man accused of brandishing a knife at three others has been handed a £175 fine.

A district judge said the 23-year-old had learned a lesson and had got his life back on track.

Jason Bennett, 23, of Mourne Drive, Warrenpoint, pleaded guilty to three counts of common assault at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on June 17, at around 9.35pm, police were called to Mourne Drive to reports of alleged assaults.

Officers attended a nearby address where they spoke to the three injured parties.

They said they had been at the defendant’s mother’s house when Bennett went downstairs and began rummaging in the kitchen.

The injured parties went to leave and saw the defendant at the bottom of the stairs with a knife.

All three claimed that they received injuries to their hands trying to leave the property.

Police attended Bennett’s mother’s home to find it in darkness with no-one in.

The defendant was later arrested at his home address.

When interviewed, he stated that four people had been at the house and he had wanted them to leave.

The defendant claimed he had lifted the knife as protection with no intention of using it.

Bennett alleged that one of the injured parties had also lifted a knife.

When he was shown the injuries, the defendant stated: “That’s a load of lies they did that on themselves.”

Defence barrister Justin Byrne stated: “Mr Bennett lives with his aunt and uncle, this offence happened at his mother’s house, she has an alcohol addiction problem.

“On that night all parties had been drinking and there could have been serious consequences.”

Court heard that the defendant had now found work as a porter at a local golf club.

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “You have no record and community service is seen as an alternative to custody which I do not feel you are approaching yet.”

He said: “I ordered a pre-sentence report to help me know more about your background,

“I am satisfied you are back on track, you are living with your aunt and uncle, and have found employment.”

District Judge King added: “I believe that there is a ring of truth in what you said but I hope you have learned the lesson not to be in the possession of a weapon.”

Bennett was ordered to pay a fine of £175, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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