A TEENAGER was found carrying a knife in a Swindon school after being targeted by bullies.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was discovered carrying a steak knife with a five-inch blade in the school’s toilets.
Swindon Youth Court heard that he said he had it in a bid to scare off other pupils who had been targeting him.
The boy, of Walcot, admitted possession of an offensive weapon on school premises.
Prosecutor Nick Barr said the knife was found when the school’s deputy headteacher searched the teen after smelling cannabis wafting from the boy’s toilets:.
Mr Barr said: “He searched this young lad and during the course of the search in his coat is a black-handled steak knife with a five-inch serrated blade.”
The boy was questioned by police. Mr Barr said: “That year he’d been involved in a fight and he felt tensions were rising.”
Defending, Sam Arif said the bullying had started in May last year: “May was the first time he was assaulted by a number of youths attending the same school. He described it as being jumped on several occasions.”
Despite reporting the assaults, teachers claimed there was little they could do because the attacks did not take place on school property, Ms Arif said.
“So bad did the tensions become that on that morning my client decided when eating breakfast he sees the knife and decided he’d scare them away and effectively the bullying would stop,” Ms Arif said.
Her client had been forced to change schools after being caught with the knife last November. Now doing his GCSE exams, he hoped in the future to study drama at college or get an apprenticeship.
Ms Arif said: “This is a young man who’s taken a foolish decision because at the time he thought there was no help or support for him in that situation. He is sorry for his actions. He’s embarrassed about being in court today.”
Magistrates warned the lad against carrying knives in future, asking him what the result of taking weapons into public places might be. “Death,” the boy said.
Chairman of the bench Simon Wolfensohn said: “Carrying a knife is very serious.”
He cited statistics that 70 per cent of stab wounds were caused by the victim’s own weapon. Mr Wolfensohn added: “The majority of stabbings are caused by knives that people were carrying for their supposed protection. Apart from all of the other risks is the risk to you from carrying a knife.”
Reacting to the sentence, a Wiltshire Police spokeswoman said: “Carrying a weapon for self-protection is simply not an excuse and if you are caught, you could face up to five years in prison.”
The boy was given a nine-month youth referral order and told to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.”