16th August 2018
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Survival-weapon enthusiast had sheath knife in rucksack at police station

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A man who held a “fascination for survival-type weapons” was found to have a sheath knife in his possession at Lerwick police station.

Darren Lawson, 38, of Mill Lane, Lerwick, was discovered with the weapon after being detained on 5th November.

Police were questioning him after traces of heroin and canabis were found at his home two days earlier. They discovered the knife in his rucksack after detaining him as he disembarked the overnight ferry from Orkney.

Lawson previously admitted the drugs charges, as well as stealing £2,000 worth of electricity over two years.  At Lerwick Sheriff Court today he also pleaded guilty to having the knife.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie explained Lawson had not intended to use the knife to cause injury to anyone. “He has a fascination with this survivalist-type weapon, and that explains his posession of it, rather than any harmful intent,” Mr MacKenzie said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Lawson was a “survivalist”. He had come to court after having camped overnight in Bressay and had taken a canoe to the isle, although he had caught the ferry back.

“There’s no reason to doubt his love of the outdoors,” Mr Allan said. “That was the reason for him having the knife.”

He added that Lawson was already paying back extra to cover the cost of the electricity he had stolen. “Unless he moves to a tent permanently it’s likely he’ll be an electricity consumer for the forseeable future and will have to pay a premium on that,” Mr Allan said.

Sheriff Philip Mann insisted he was not ruling out a custodial sentence at this stage. But he deferred sentence for background reports to be prepared which would allow him to consider alternatives. Lawson will appear in court again on 29th May.

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