Man avoids jail for knife theft from Rhayader cafe

A MAN was almost sent to prison after stealing a steak knife from a café and then being found in possession of it by police.

Karl Thomas Evans appeared at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he was given a suspended jail term.

He admitted possessing a bladed article, as well as theft of the knife, and a third charge of possessing cannabis.

The court heard how the 36-year-old was stopped by police on Station Crescent, Llandrindod, on November 11, who discovered a steak knife with a three-inch blade in Evans’ jacket pocket.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said: “It was around 11am when police officers, including Sergeant Thomas, stopped and searched the defendant.

“Three foil wraps were presented to officers. Located in the right breast jacket pocket was a steak knife, and a fork. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article and cannabis. The cannabis was for his own use and worth around £25.

“He said he had taken the knife and fork from Ty Morgan’s café, in Rhayader. He’d had a meal outside and just picked it up. He forgot to take it home which is why it was on him.”

Mr Davies said Evans’ previous convictions were numerable, but his last drugs conviction was from 2016.

Defending Evans, of Bank House, East Street, Rhayader, Gareth Walters said: “By his own admission he’s charged with theft as there was no indication he was in possession of stolen items. “His honesty has landed him in a difficult position, as well as his stupidity.”

“Possession of a bladed article is a very serious offence, the sentencing guidelines put the starting point at six months in prison, but there are grounds to suspend it, if you’re minded to go with that.”

Mr Walters said Evans is currently subject to a community order and complied with the curfew element of that order, and has completed four of 10 recreational activity days.

“He has made good progress considering how difficult it is to engage with probation at the moment,” added Mr Walters.

“He has been engaging with Kaleidoscope and another substance misuse organisation that works to get people into training. He is hopefully going to start studying for his GCSEs soon and is looking into doing voluntary work at the Elan Valley Reservoir.

“He looks like he is finally turning his life around. This is a bump in the road, albeit a significant one, but he realises it is time to turn his life around and he’s making early steps to do that. He is well aware of the situation and the court’s powers.”

Magistrates ordered Evans to serve a custodial sentence of three months but suspended it for 12 months. Evans must serve another curfew period of five weeks from 7pm-7am. They also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of drugs and made an order to return the knife and fork to the café. Evans must also pay £85 costs and a £128 surcharge.

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader