Chesterfield man caught with a lock knife told police he used it for hunting rabbits, court told

A Chesterfield man was caught with a lock-knife and MDMA after he pulled his car over to take a phone call and police mistook his vehicle for one that had been reported driving recklessly in the area, a court heard.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 3:00 pm

Paul Allen was found with 1.38 grammes of the drug in the vehicle when police searched it, along with a two-inch lock knife which he told them he used for hunting, Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court was told on Monday, October 12.

The 33-year-old also told officers that he had bought the MDMA to go to a rave, but had decided not to go and had forgotten it was in his vehicle, following his arrest on February 12.

Prosecuting, Robert Carr told the court that a member of the public had called police that a vehicle was being driven dangerously around the industrial estate where Allen was found parked up.

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Paul Allen appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates' Court.

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He said: “They found a small bag of white powder and the lock knife in the passenger-side footwell. He said he had bought the drugs to go to a rave but he hadn’t gone in the end, and he said he knew about the knife and used it for gutting and skinning rabbits - he has lurchers and goes out hunting.”

Allen, of Poolsbrook Crescent, Chesterfield, admitted possession of a Class A drug and possession of a bladed article when he appeared before the court.

Mitigating, Steve Brint said: “It’s fair to say that until 2014 he was quite prolific - he was in and out of court on a regular basis and he’s been to custody, but he’s not been in trouble since.

“He pulled into the carpark to answer his phone and he’s not a man who usually takes drugs. He was tested by police and it was a negative test.

“Regarding the knife, he wasn’t aware that it was unlawful to carry it - he has permission from farmers to hunt for rabbits on their land. The knife was handed down to him by his grandfather.”

Allen was given 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to complete eight rehabilitation activity days with the Probation Service.

He was also fined £400 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

The court also ruled the drugs and knife be forfeited and destroyed.

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