Man with 'fearsome' ornamental knife arrested in Barnstaple

North Devon Gazette

A shopper who bought a ‘fearsome’ 21-inch ornamental knife ended up being pinned to the ground by police after showing off his new purchase to a friend.

Adam Carey was arrested after a security man at the Tesco Express store in Barnstaple High Street saw him with the weapon in the street.

He called the police who pinned Carey to the ground when he refused to hand over the weapon and found it inside a sheath and a box in his rucksack.

Carey, aged 48, of Bear Street, Barnstaple, admitted possession of a bladed article in a public place and was conditionally discharged by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him he was not imposing a more serious penalty because of the circumstances in which he acquired the knife and showed it to a friend for only a few seconds.

He said: “I don’t know why you wanted to own or display such a knife but you would be better off leaving knives to others in the future and pursuing other interests.”

He ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife.

Mr Paul Grumbar, prosecuting, said Carey was stopped in the centre of Barnstaple at 6.20 pm on April 29 this year after the police were told he had been seen with a knife.

He was on a pushbike and refused to get off until he was grabbed by officers and taken to the ground.

He told the court he had bought it from Archangel Gifts at 11 am but not taken it straight home, which was why it was in his rucksack, still in its presentation box and black sheath.

Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Carey had a record of drug addiction and shoplifting in the past but not of violence or possessing weapons.

He said he had gone to the gift shop to sell a bicycle for £50 but only been offered £30 and accepted the knife as part exchange. He intended to put it up on his wall.

Mr Crabb said Carey’s mistake had been to leave it in his rucksack and get it out to show to a friend who he met in the centre of town.

He has overcome an addiction to heroin with the help of the drug service Together but is now working with them to address a drink problem.