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Man caught with stash of knife blades told police he used them to cut his hair

PUBLISHED: 12:52 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 10 February 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A man from London found carrying a three-inch knife and a number of blades when he was stopped by police on the A11, near Thickthorn, was told by a judge that he did not want to see him again in Norwich carrying weapons.

Officers stopped a grey Audi on the A11, at Thickthorn, and when they searched Dan Merchant, 33, who was a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, they found he had a knife wrapped in cling film in his pocket and a number of craft knife blades in a bag, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said police had carried out a search of the vehicle after they discovered a smell of cannabis in the car.

She said the red-handled knife was found in Merchant’s pocket and he told police that he carried the knife for protection and claimed he used the craft knife blades to cut his hair.

He said he had been stabbed in 2010 and had recently been chased by three men, which is why he had armed himself for protection.

Merchant, from Ilford, in London, admitted possession of a bladed article on October 26, last year, but a was found not guilty of a drugs charge he faced after the prosecution offered no evidence.

The court heard he had a previous conviction for possession a knife in 2015 and in 2004 had been given a nine year sentence for an attempted robbery on a small shop in London, in which he was armed with a handgun.

Recorder Andrew Shaw imposed a 10 month jail sentence but told him: “You are someone who has become accustomed to arming yourself with weapons.”

He said that Merchant had claimed he carried the knife for protection but said if he was getting a lift to Norwich he should have had no need to have been carrying a knife.

He told him: “We do not want to see you in this city with your knife again.”

He added that the latest offence had been just 24 days after a suspended sentence had expired for his last offence of possessing a bladed weapon and said his previous convictions were aggravating features.

Archangelo Power, for Merchant, said that he deserved credit for his guilty plea which was entered at the earliest opportunity.

“The knife was in his left breast pocket. The weapon was not used or brandished.”

He claimed that Merchant was going to Norwich to see his girlfriend.


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