Knife man avoids jail

A MAN who admitted regularly carrying a knife and told police he was prepared to use it has avoided a jail term.

A MAN who admitted regularly carrying a knife and told police he was prepared to use it has avoided a jail term.

Mahad Ismail, 32, of Woodbridge Road East, Ipswich, was arrested by police on April 25 after they spotted the handle of a kitchen knife sticking out of his pocket.

Appearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday, Ismail was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a supervision requirement.

Ismail, who admitted that alcohol had played a role in six previous convictions, was also ordered to attend a substance misuse programme and was made to pay costs of £60.


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The sentence was passed despite the court hearing that Ismail regularly carried a knife for protection and told officers in interview he “would not hesitate to use it”.

The case comes on the back of recent concerns about an apparent surge in violent knife crime and comments from Ipswich MP Chris Mole that courts need to send “a strong message” to those caught with the weapon.

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Mr Mole said he would support a minimum tariff for the offence of carrying a blade in public, possibly a mandatory jail term.

Before making their decision magistrates heard that on the day in question police took Ismail to the YMCA in Norwich Road, where he was staying at the time, following an earlier incident during which he was assaulted.

Officers arrested him when he was seen a short time later on the grassy area outside the YMCA with a knife in his pocket.

Neil Holt, mitigating, said: “He will say he was assaulted and had the knife simply because he wanted to protect himself.

“He was quite candid in interview, possibly to his detriment.

“He is quite aware not to possess a knife in those circumstances and that he should contact the relevant authorities if he is in that situation again.”

Should people carrying knives go to jail? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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