A YOUNG man found by police with a craft knife in his rucksack at Colchester Town railway station has narrowly avoided being locked up.

Bradley Jipson, 20, of Handel Walk, Colchester, admitted having a bladed article in a public place.

He was sentenced to six months detention, suspended for a year, with 200 hours unpaid work and £340 costs.

Michael Fraser, prosecuting at Chelmsford Crown Court, said British Transport Police were searching for drugs on November 20 and their dog went towards Jipson.

It was not suggested he had any drugs but the knife was found in his rucksack. He had previous convictions for having a bladed article and using a plank of wood as an offensive weapon, Mr Fraser added.

Jipson’s lawyer, Marcus Croskell, said the knife only had a small blade. Jipson had used it for fishing and left it in his bag by mistake. He had not had it out in public.

He added after troubled teenage years, when he offended regularly, his client had moved away from old friends in Manningtree to live with his older brother in Colchester. He had applied for a job and was “starting to grow up”, he added.

Recorder John Dodd QC, who referred to the knife as a mini-Stanley knife, told Jipson he had come very close to being locked up, but had avoided detention because he showed signs of turning the corner.