Man was in possession of a knife when he entered a charity shop

Ballymena Court

A man who was in possession of a knife when he went into a Ballymena charity shop has been jailed for four months.

Stephen Johnston (24), with an address listed as Casement Street in the town, admitted possessing an article with a pointed blade in a public place – Ballymena’s Larne Street.

The offence was committed on April 25 this year.

The premises were only referred to on the charge sheet as ‘The Charity Shop’.

Other charges relating to the same date – the attempted robbery of cash of an unknown value from the charity shop and possessing an offensive weapon – a knife – were withdrawn.

The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Prison.

The court heard he was already a sentenced prisoner in relation to another matter.

Regarding the incident on April 25, defence barrister Neil Moore said Johnston had “acute mental health and learning difficulties”.

Jailing Johnston, District Judge Nigel Broderick told him: “It is obviously worrying that anybody, especially somebody with your record, would go into a shop with a knife.”

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