A Cork man caught with two knives stuffed inside his trousers claimed he was minding them for a friend and they were going to use them to cut steak.
But now he has been convicted of having them for an unlawful purpose and jailed for six months.
Garda Sinéad Gleeson and Garda Xiao Ma encountered the accused man, Aaron Babbington of Churchfield Avenue, Churchfield in Cork city and brought him to the Bridewell garda station. When searched he had two knives down inside the waistband of his pants.
Questioned about it, he said another man had gone to the toilet and asked him to hold on to the two knives for him. “And I am a bigger fool to do it,” Babbington added.
Now in Cork District Court, Aaron Babbington pleaded not guilty to having the knives for an unlawful purpose.
“We had a bag of steak at my friend’s house. We wanted it (the knives) to cut it.
“We got the meat at the English Market that day.” He added that they bought the two knives because there was no cutlery in his friend’s house.
“He was only after getting that place. He had no knives or anything?” he said.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, asked his client why he had the knives inside the waistband of his pants. He explained that the bag for the knives had torn.
Sergeant Pat Lyons asked the young man why he didn’t tell the guards that on the day. Babbington replied: “I was too intoxicated.” Sgt Lyons said: “They are not steak knives.” Mr Buttimer suggested: “They would cut a nice fillet, I’d say.”
Sgt Lyons asked: “Why did you feel the need to have them stuffed down your trousers?” Babbington replied: “Because the bag broke, I told you.”
Sgt Lyons said: “Say we half-believe what you are saying, why not say to the guard, ‘I have two knives stuffed down my trousers – here’s the receipt.’ Why not say that?” Babbington replied: “I wasn’t thinking. It happened so fast. They grabbed me and put me in the paddywagon.”
Judge Olann Kelleher convicted him for having the knives without a lawful purpose and jailed him for six months.
While Babbington contested that case he pleaded guilty to a number of other counts, including being threatening and abusive to gardaí during a drunken incident at Cornmarket Street in November. On another occasion in November he was abusive to gardaí at Churchfield Avenue.
When told he was being arrested he shouted: ‘Get the f*** off, ye bastards ye, f*** off and leave me alone.’ Mr Buttimer said the 28-year-old “had a chronic alcohol problem. He went to Bruree (treatment centre). Regrettably, he was discharged. He is doing well in prison.”
Judge Kelleher said Babbington was in the very unusual position for a young man of having 54 previous convictions for being drunk and a danger and 27 counts of engaging in threatening behaviour. And he has had nearly 40 bench warrants issued for him, the judge remarked.