Preston police had to draw PAVA spray after seeing homeless man sleeping with a large knife in his hand

A homeless man who showed staff at Preston Railway Station a seven inch kitchen knife as they tried to speak to him has been jailed for 20 weeks - but due to his time on remand he will be released straight away.

By Stef Hall
Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 3:45 pm

Officers, who attended the scene a short time later, had to draw their PAVA spray after seeing Stephen Perrigo, 41, with the knife still in his hand while napping in his sleeping bag

Perrigo, of no fixed abode, had been approached by staff at the station at around 3am on March 16, Preston Crown Court heard.

Tom Sherrington, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said: "Mr Perrigo was at the station and was in conversation with the staff at the station and he produced a knife.

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Preston Railway Station

"There's no suggestion any threats were made, in fact it's suggested after some conversation he sat down on a bench and put the knife down beside him.

"Police were called.

"The officers saw him asleep in his sleeping bag and when raising the sleeping bag they saw the knife was in his hand.

"One of the officers produced his PAVA spray and asked the defendant to drop the knife which he did so, and he slid the knife over to the police officers.

"He was arrested and interviewed and accepted being in possession of it.

"He described he found the knife in the sleeping bag - which he also found - and decided to keep it in order to protect himself. He was at the station to try to get some money."

Perrigo admitted possessing a knife in public.

The court heard he has 30 convictions for 47 offences, including wounding.

Beverley Hackett, defending, said he had already been in custody for four months - the equivalent of an eight month sentence.

She added: " Shelter have indicated there is a bed available for him in Blackburn and they would welcome the chance to work with him."

Sentencing, Judge Sara Dodd : "You had with you a knife with a not insignificant blade.

"You didn't use it to threaten anyone but the possession of it is a criminal offence.

"You have many previous convictions. You have none that relate to use of a weapon but you do have some for violence and they are an aggravating feature."