Twelve-month sentence for carrying knife

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A 60-year-old fisherman shouted abuse as he was sent down to begin a 12-month prison sentence at the November sitting of Campbeltown Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes told him that custody was unavoidable as his record showed
three other knife offences and 14 of violence and the sentence ‘was a message to
people in this area about carrying knives’.

Michael Coats of Flat 9, Harvey Street, Campbeltown, had been found guilty of
possessing a knife in a public place.

He denied the offence which happened on April 26 this year on Burnside Street in the
in the town when he appeared before the October sitting.

He was also found guilty of failing to keep to the conditions of his bail curfew on five occasions in May.

During his trial Coats told the court that after being granted bail at both Campbeltown
and Dumbarton Sheriff Court there was confusion about the conditions of his bail and
he believed them not to exist.

The knife incident was discovered by police on patrol in a liveried police van when he
failed to stop when requested. Coats did not have a light on his cycle and was wearing dark clothing.

‘We wanted to advise him on his safety,’ an officer said at the trial.

Coats said he did not stop because ‘I had done nothing wrong’, but the knife was
found in one of the four carrier bags hanging from his cycle handlebars.

He insisted that the bags also contained lures, hooks and weights as he had been
fishing for mackerel. Police officers said they did not.

The sheriff had called for Criminal Justice Social Work and Restriction of Liberty
Order reports on Coats but he had not co-operated fully with the social workers, the
court heard last week.

Coats was admonished for the five breaches of bail conditions.