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19-year-old caught carrying 'extremely dangerous-looking' knife avoids jail

PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 12 March 2019

Norwich Magistrates' Court, where Jacob Everitt of Cromer pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Magistrates' Court, where Jacob Everitt of Cromer pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A 19-year-old man who was caught carrying an 'extremely dangerous-looking' knife in his backpack has avoided jail.

Magistrates were minded to send him to prison amid recent headlines of a surge in violent knife crime, but they let the teenager go after hearing he had no previous convictions.

In Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning, Jacob Everitt, of Westcliff Avenue, Cromer, pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place.

Prosecutor Victoria Bastock said on February 4 this year, in Roughton, police stopped a vehicle in which he was the passenger.

During a drug search officers came across Everitt’s backpack in the rear of the car where they found a four inch bladed lock knife.

Everitt, who was of previously good character, told police he had the knife because he liked the appearance of it and that he had forgotten it was in his backpack.

Alistair Taunton, mitigating, said Everitt bought the knife a year ago in Skegness because the iridescent handle matched his cigarette lighter.

Everitt, who is unemployed but a chef by trade, had moved out of his mother’s home after a disagreement but returned after making amends, and so in the process of moving his belongings he had forgotten the knife was still in his bag.

On the day the knife was found, Mr Taunton said: “He and his girlfriend had been out on a drive and happened to go to a drug area, unbeknown to them.”

He added that police would have liked to let Everitt go on a caution but that they could not because of the nature of the offence.

“He didn’t threaten anybody, it just happened to be there,” he added.

Chairman of the bench Roger Marston perused pictures of the lock knife and told a worried-looking Everitt in court that it was an “extremely dangerous-looking weapon” which he would not have used in his previous job as a chef.

“It’s a knife that’s often in the media seen as used for personal protection which could end up with tragic consequences for someone,” he added.

But Everitt let out a sigh of relief when Mr Marston told him he was not being sent to prison.

“This is your first offence so we treated this differently,” he said. “Had it been your second offence we would’ve sent you to prison for four months.”

Everitt was ordered to carry out 120 hours of community work for 12 months. He was also told to pay £85 victim surcharge but, due to his means, he will not pay court costs.

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