Suspended sentence for drunk man who carried knife in Llandrindod Wells

A CARPET fitter who went on a drunken public rant has received a suspended jail sentence after he was found to be carrying a knife in his pocket.

Martin Michael David Smith had been fitting carpets in Llandrindod Wells with his cousin on July 11 but the pair had then started drinking and fallen out, leading to him causing a public disturbance, to which the police were called.

Smith, 27, gave conflicting stories to police, initially saying he’d been fitting carpets and forgot the lock knife was in his pocket, but then telling them he’d been stabbed in the face earlier in the year and wasn’t going to let that happen again.

He admitted possessing a bladed article before magistrates in Llandrindod on Wednesday, October 28.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said residents called police after being woken up by Smith shouting in the early hours of the morning.

“Police located a male in the Cefn Morfa area, along Spa Road East, who was identified as Smith, and they conducted a search which found a small silver knife in his trouser pocket,” said Mr Davies.

“It was a lock knife and he was arrested. He told police he’d travelled to Llandrindod to see a cousin, they had been drinking, he was intoxicated and had no memory of the evening.

“He said he was not sure who the knife belonged to but he had been stabbed in the face before so wasn’t going to let that happen again. This was the reason he gave for having it on him.”

Magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report from the probation service, as the offence crossed the custody threshold.

Probation officer Rachael Lonsdale told the tale of a defendant with a string of previous convictions, but who had kept himself relatively trouble free since last appearing in court in 2016.

“Mr Smith has no recollection of the day,” said Ms Lonsdale.

“He’d travelled from Swansea to Llandrindod to help his cousin fit a carpet but that was pushed to one side and they started drinking alcohol, which went on into the early evening. There was a verbal argument and this led to him being on the street shouting.

“It was only then that he realised he had the knife on him. He never had any intention to use it to commit a crime, he has himself been a victim of a knife crime. He blames it on alcohol use.”

She said Smith had an array of offences dating back to 2008 but that since 2016 he had ceased offending, apart from one recent Class A drugs offence.

“His partner is with him in court, and it seems his offending has ceased since being in that relationship,” added Ms Lonsdale. “He doesn’t drink often but when he does he often gets into trouble.”

She said this relationship, plus a newly-forged one with his son, who he sees on weekends, would both be jeopardised if he were to receive an immediate custodial sentence.

Acting for Smith, of Gwylfa Road, Swansea, Gareth Walters added: “The defendant had been out of trouble for some time. He was assaulted earlier this year with a knife, leaving him with facial scarring.

“He forgot it was with him, it wasn’t seen or brandished, and was ultimately found in pocket. It wasn’t used.”

Magistrates ordered Smith to serve a four-month prison sentence, suspending it for 12 months. He must complete 25 days of rehabilitation activities, as well as 80 hours unpaid work. He also has to pay £85 costs and a £128 surcharge, while the bench ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife.

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader