Court hears street performer found with four knives has 'personality difficulties'

A knife-thrower involved in street entertainment was given a five-month suspended jail sentence today after a pre-sentencing psychiatric report was handed into court on the accused.

Vincent Van Der Velde (39) who is living with Cork Simon community got the suspended jail term from Judge Olann Kelleher at Cork District Court.

Joseph Cuddigan, solicitor, said: “In essence there is a photograph on the file of the knives. These are actually throwing knives.

“He is a street performer and would put on shows in respect of knife-throwing. He has his personality difficulties.”

Judge Kelleher said:

I met this man before because of his unusual occupation. These matters are dangerous when they are in the wrong hands.

The judge noted an old foreign conviction that referred to an unspecified offence under weapons legislation.

He then imposed the five-month prison term and explained to Van Der Velde that he would have to serve that sentence if he got into further difficulties in the next two years.

Van Der Velde said: “No problem. Thank you, judge.”

The background to the offence was outlined by Sergeant John Kelleher.

“On March 10 at 9.45pm, gardaí became aware of suspicious activity occurring on the sixth floor of Carroll’s Quay car park on North City Link Road.

“On arrival, Detective Garda Michael O’Brien noticed drug paraphernalia in the defendant’s immediate vicinity.

“A search was carried out but no drugs were found. A set of four knives in one sheath was found.

“The defendant admitted possessing these implements and indicated that he had them as a hobby and that he had used one of them to prepare controlled substances.

“He intimated that he did not require them for work. He fully cooperated with gardaí.”

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