A woman caught with a knife in the street has avoided jail – after she told a judge she used it to clean her cannabis grinder.
Simone Gill, aged 40, was arrested with the blade and a small amount of the drug, a court heard.
She never pulled out the knife and told police she used it to clean her cannabis grinder.
Gill faced an automatic six-month immediate jail sentence at Plymouth Crown Court because it was her second conviction for having a blade in the street.
But a judge suspended her prison sentence because of her personal circumstances in a probation report – which were not aired in court.
Recorder Paul Garlick told her: “You could go to prison but because of the circumstances outlined in the report I am taking an exceptionally lenient course.”
Gill, of Hastings Street, Stonehouse, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article on April 25.
She also admitted possession of about a third of a gram of a Class B drug.
Parliament has decreed that those caught with a blade for a second time should be jailed for six months. The move is to deter rising levels of violent knife crime.
Ed Bailey, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police were called to Hastings Street at about 10.30pm on April 25.
He added witnesses had heard a woman screaming and thought she might have been bundled into a car.
Mr Bailey said Gill was not suspected of any involvement but was searched because officers believed she may have been dealing drugs.
The barrister said police found the Stanley knife type blade on her, as well as the cannabis. It had a 1.5 cm blade which was folded in at the time.
Mr Bailey added: “She said she used the knife to clean her cannabis grinder and did not realise it was illegal.”
The court heard her previous conviction for having a blade dated back to 2014.
Francesca Whebell, for Gill, said she would benefit from working with the probation service.
Recorder Garlick cut her short when he agreed to follow the probation report’s recommendation.
She was handed a five-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She must do 30 days of the service’s Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
Gill was ordered to pay £115 victim surcharge and must surrender the drugs and knife.
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