A Wigan teenager was given a stern warning about the dangers of knife crime after being caught carrying a blade and a hammer in Wigan town centre.
Brandon Lukins was caught carrying the offensive weapons while climbing on to rooftops with friends on an April evening.
In a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, the 18-year-old, of Poolstock Lane, was warned he could easily have gone to jail for having the items on him.
CCTV operators had spotted Lukins, with two other males, climbing a drain pipe on to the roof of a building in Mesnes Street. Police attended the scene, finding the trio on the roof.
Officers attempted to get all three down from the rooftop, but when only one of them came down, they were forced to climb on to the roof themselves and apprehend them.
They found Lukins on the roof carrying a rucksack, and when they searched it they discovered it contained a claw hammer and a kitchen knife.
When questioned by the police, Lukins said he had found the weapons earlier in the day and decided to take them.
Defending, Mr Ali told magistrates the teenager was a keen climber, and earlier in the evening had climbed up the scaffolding of another building, where he found both items. He placed them in his rucksack before climbing down and moving on.
“Stupidly, he did not think about the consequences of having a knife and a hammer in public”, said Mr Ali.
He added: “This is a young man. He was immature, he was irresponsible, he has got a lot of growing up to do.”
The magistrates issued a stern warning to Lukins, saying: “We hear on a daily basis the problem of young people carrying knives.”
The bench also warned Lukins there was a strong possibility he could be sent to jail for carrying the weapons, and when asked by the bench why they should spare him from jail, he responded: “I think doing unpaid work would be serve me better than going into custody with other people who have done worse things. I would get into their mindset.”
The bench decided to give the teenager a second chance after accepting he had “shown a willingness to change your life,” despite declaring that the offence had indeed crossed the custody threshold.
He was given a 12-month community order, comprising 200 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £85 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.