A CONCERNED member of the public told police a “disorientated” man was walking around with a knife and when officers went to the area they found he had a large knife tucked into his shorts.
Stuart Given (46) came to police attention in August last year, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard.
A prosecutor said a woman told officers at Larne Police Station “a disorientated male was walking around the Drumahoe Manor area in Larne with a knife”.
Police went to the area and stopped a male matching the description given on Drumahoe Road.
The prosecutor told the court, sitting in Antrim, Given identified himself and “did appear very disorientated” and “struggled to answer questions”.
Police found a large knife tucked into his shorts. A backpack was searched and no other weapons found.
The defendant was taken to hospital and when interviewed he said he couldn’t remember the events and that he suffered from epilepsy.
Given was in court for sentencing on a charge of possessing a knife in a public place.
Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant had suffered from “epileptic fits and the vast range of medications that he has been taking has undoubtedly played a part this particular evening”.
The court heard the defendant “comes from a very respectable background”.
Mr Moore said the defendant couldn’t provide an explanation as to why he had a knife but the lawyer said it was clear that when police had spoken to him they had concerns.
The lawyer added that it appeared “it was perhaps an epileptic seizure that had then resulted in a state of confusion” and that was compounded with medication he was taking at the time.
Mr Moore said the medication has now been regulated.
The lawyer said the defendant is now living in Newtownabbey area.
He said Given, with an address listed as Deerfin Park in Newtownabbey, had no criminal record and Probation said he was a “low likelihood of reofffending”.
Mr Moore added: “This appears to have been a medical situation”.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was “very unusual background” but that there did appear to be a “medical explanation” and gave the defendant a one year conditional discharge.