A man has been fined after he was caught by security staff with a lock knife when he was visiting Chesterfield magistrates’ court for a benefits tribunal.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Michael Gibson, 42, of Edward Street, Eckington, was searched by security staff when he arrived at the court on Tapton Lane and the lock knife was found on his key ring.
Prosecuting solicitor Marianne Connally told the court: “The most aggravating feature is that the weapon was discovered by security staff in this building as he was bringing the item into the court.
“It was among his personal effects as he went through security screening.
“It is not the largest or most menacing item with a blade of one inch to one-and-a-half inches long but it is the locking mechanism that makes it an offensive weapon.”
Gibson stated that he had had the lock knife on a key ring for some time.
But Ms Connally added that Gibson was confrontational and was not amenable with the security staff and he believed the security staff had stolen the knife from him.
Gibson, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place after the incident on December 11.
Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Gibson was a heroin drug-user and he has spent nine years in custody and his last court appearance was in 2015 for possessing an offensive weapon.
Mr Brint said this previous conviction had involved a friend’s carpenter tool which had been left and found in a car.
But Gibson has turned his life around, according to Mr Brint, and the lock knife found by security staff had been a gift from his mother.
Mr Brint said Gibson had been attending a benefits tribunal because his Employment Support Allowance had been stopped when the lock knife was taken from him.
Magistrates fined Gibson £120 and ordered him to pay £35 cost and a £30 victim surcharge.