Lock-knife teen who was 'looking for trouble' jailed.
Byline: Emma Davison Court Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
A TEENAGER who was part of a gang armed with knives that fled from police has been jailed.
Luke Joseph of Bradley Boulevard, Sheepridge, and the rest of a group climbed over garden fences as they tried to escape, Kirklees Magistrates' Court heard.
They were found hiding in a dog kennel at one of the addresses in Newsome.
The 19-year-old ditched his knife there but was later traced to it via his DNA.
One of the other knives was found ditched under a trampoline, where children had earlier been playing.
Joseph pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place.
The court heard he was part of a group of five hooded youths spotted by police in the early hours of May 29. Two of the gang were carrying kitchen knives with eight inch blades while Joseph had a lock knife.
When the group saw the officers they ran, jumping over two sets of garden fences in Elizabeth Street.
The court was told that it took 45 minutes for police to locate the gang, who were found crammed into a dog kennel at one of the properties.
Joseph abandoned his knife there.
The other knives were found by another homeowner in her garden. One had been ditched under a trampoline while another was hidden under a bush.
She said she had been playing with her children there earlier that day.
Joseph had claimed that he found his knife just moments earlier in some grass.
He said: "I found the knife, I saw it shining in the light. I didn't see the other people with knives but when police arrived everybody started running.
"I realised I had the knife on me and I knew I shouldn't have it so I ran as well. We all ran into the dog kennel. Police told us to come out and we left."
Joseph also claimed that he hadn't met most of the group until earlier that night at a party in the area.
But District Judge Michael Fanning, rejected his claims after prosecutor Lauren Prentice said that the teen was out looking for trouble.
He told him: "You were in possession of a lock knife, a weapon that's designed to lock open to be used to stab.
"I'm satisfied that you were part of a gang armed with knives.
"It's a tragedy that as a young man with no previous convictions you find yourself in his situation, but not a tragic as the outcome could have been.
"Knives do kill people week in, week out and many of these people are in your age bracket.
"The sooner youths realise that carrying knives will result in immediate custody, the sooner they will think about carrying them and we will see a reduction in this crime."
Judge Fanning jailed Joseph for 16 weeks.