POLICE on duty for a Coleraine versus Ballymena football match searched a number of people at the Translink depot in Coleraine and found a Ballymena man, who claimed he was only in the town to visit friends, had a small hatchet in his possession.
Ballymena Magistrates Court heard that Nicholas McCrudden (19), of Dunvale, told police he was carrying the hatchet because he was “paranoid coming up to Coleraine and had it for protection”.
A defence solicitor said the defendant had not gone to Coleraine to go to the football match but instead was “visiting friends”.
The court also heard that during a recent court appearance in Ballymena the defendant had collapsed in the dock and received attention from a paramedic.
The defendant was back in court for sentencing on charges of possessing an article with a blade in a public place.
He was also being sentenced for having cannabis last October and he breached a ‘Combination Order’.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant was a “young man with issues” but had a very limited record and he said he would give him a “chance” and not send him to prison.
The defendant was given a four months jail term, suspended for a year.