A Tipperary Town man caught with a Stanley knife outside a sitting of Tipperary District Court, received 100 hours community service in lieu of two months imprisonment at the court's sitting last week.
Leonard Waters of 29 Fr Mathew St., Tipperary, who pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon, ran away from the gardai when they approached him, the court was told.
Gda. Sgt. Cathal Godfrey said Gda. Sharon Moloney was on duty at Tipperary District Court on this date and outside the court she saw Waters take a yellow Stanley knife out of his pocket and show it to a female he was with. Gda. Moloney went back inside the court to get assistance and when she came back out Waters ran away. She chased him and he threw the knife over a steel gate. She arrested Waters for possession of an offensive weapon and retrieved the knife.
Sgt. Godfrey pointed out there were ongoing issues between people outside the court at the time.
He said Waters had 38 previous convictions for offences ranging from robbery, burglary and theft to threatening to kill and possession of a knife and sawn off-shotgun.
Defence solicitor Colin Morrissey said his client told gardai on the day of the incident he had the knife in his pocket for cutting cable ties on a rabbit hutch.
The solicitor submitted that Waters had not been in trouble for a lengthy period in the recent past before this incident. He was now the father of two young children and that change in his circumstances coincided with him not coming to the attention of the gardai.
Judge MacGrath asked why Waters ran away from Gda. Moloney? "It was an instinctive reaction from his previous engagements with the gardai," Mr Morrissey replied.