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First offender caught with knife in Thurso street after threats made against him

By Court Reporter

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A young Thurso man caught with a locking knife in a local street claimed he had armed himself with it for protection.

Unemployed Brian Stevenson was frightened after threats were made to him by two men, Wick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old admitted being in possession of the knife in a public place without reasonable cause or lawful authority, on August 29.

Police, acting on a tip-off, located Stevenson in Angus Court, Thurso, in the early evening.

Fiscal David Barclay said that the accused volunteered that he was in possession of the knife and handed it over to police officers.

The fiscal continued: "Stevenson made comments to the effect that he was frightened of certain people in Thurso but insisted he had no intention of using the knife." When cautioned and charged, the accused replied: "I am an idiot."

Mr Barclay said that Stevenson's solicitor, George Mathers, had given him the names of certain people who were "familiar to the court".

The fiscal added that Stevenson was a first offender and was not someone who was "on the police radar" until the knife offence.

Mr Mathers said that the offence was "foolish and out of character" and, although he was not trying to minimise the seriousness of the situation, continued: "Stevenson had the knife because he was extremely scared that people who had threatened him might carry out the threats."

Sheriff Andrew Berry said it was the third case of knife possession to come before him in two days and added: "It is a matter of concern."

The case was continued until November 17 for a background report on Stevenson, which Sheriff Berry will consider before passing sentence.

The knife was ordered to be forfeit.

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