Homeless man who carried kitchen knives in Mansfield spared jail

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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A homeless man with mental health problems was spared jail after police found him carrying a set of three kitchen knives while he slept rough in a shop doorway in Mansfield town centre.

Daniel Keith Cooke, 31, of no-fixed-abode, admitted carrying a bladed article in a public place without good reason or lawful authority on Leeming Street, on Sunday June 26, when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield on Monday.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, said police were tipped-off by a member of the public after Cooke was seen with a knife.

“He was found in a sleeping bag in a shop doorway. When he stood up three knives fell to the floor,” he said.

“There was no suggestion that he brandished them or made threats with them.”

Cooke was last before the courts in February when he received a ten week jail sentence for assaulting a police officer and causing criminal damage.

David Grant, mitigating, said: “His family have disowned him. He has been sleeping part of the time in a tent near the police station.

“Because a number of those tents were set on fire, he moved into the town centre.

“He bought a set of six knives from the Poundshop but three were of no use so he discarded them in a bin. He was using them for a domestic purpose to cut his food.”

The court heard Cook suffered mental health problems and had experience drug-induced psychosis as a result of his heroin and amphetamine addictions.

His involvement with probation was said to be ‘more intensive than most people’ as he failed to take his medication.

He was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.