A 19-year-old Ross-shire man spent a weekend in a cell after police stopped him as he drove home after work and found him carrying a lock knife in his fleece jacket.
James McGuiness, of 21 Bayview Crescent, Cromarty, was admonished at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday after admitting the charge. Sheriff Neilson said that “the legislation was not designed to target cases such as this”.
Afterwards McGuiness said that he was “shocked” by what had happened and was unsure why the police had stopped him on the night in question on January 16 this year.
He added: “I spent a weekend in custody after coming home after work and it was stressful. It was more of a shock than anything else. It would be fair enough to stop me if I had a tail light out or something, but it was nothing to do with that.”
Fiscal depute David Morton told the court that the police officers had reason to stop and search McGuiness in Rosemarkie, adding: “Mr McGuiness indicated to them that he used the knife for work purposes – but it was 10.30pm at night.”
But defence lawyer Willie Young said that his client, who is a warehouse general assistant at a car repair firm in Inverness, had been working that day until 4pm and afterwards had gone to spend time with his girlfriend in Inverness before returning home.
Mr Young added that his client was still in his work clothes and stressed that the nature of his work involved “breaking down pallets and boxes when stocking the warehouse.”
Mr Young also produced a letter form the company highlighting his client’s role which said there was a “requirement for knives”, adding: “His employers have changed their policy and he is now permitted to leave his work knife in his place of work overnight”.