Despite being the victim of an assault at the hands of a gang of yobs, and despite not actually brandishing the locking knife in his backpack, a 53 year old British man narrowly avoided a mandatory “2nd strike” 6 – month sentence for carrying a knife in public. He has been convicted of a similar offense 33 years ago.
From York Press UK:
Ms Turnbull said police arrested MacLean in Dale Street off Nunnery Lane, York, at 10pm on September 15 following a disturbance there involving local residents.
In his shoulder pack they found a Batman knife with two short blades of different lengths.
Because one of the blades could lock into position, he couldn’t carry the knife in public.
Mr Craven said several people had attacked MacLean, but he hadn’t reached into his bag for the knife to use it to defend himself or attack anyone.
He had forgotten he had it with him, he added.
MacLean used it for cutting twine and other jobs when fishing and had put it in his pack the last time he had been fishing, six weeks earlier, the court was told.
The police had accepted he had been a victim of an assault and had not charged him in relation to the fight, said Mr Craven.
But before taking a witness statement from him they had arrested him, which had led to him being searched and the discovery of the knife.
Granted, MacLean is no saint. He has a 10 year old drug dealing offense as well. But even ex cons have the right to self defense if they are not involved in a crime. I would argue MacLean should have had every right to pull said knife from his bag and use it to defend himself if attacked and in fear for his life. Authorities in the UK see it otherwise.