A teenager, who has been living in a tent in the Spalding area, was found in possession of a knife when he was stopped by security staff in a town supermarket, a court has heard.
Kacper Krzoska, 19, of no fixed address but formerly of Deepdale Lane in Nettleham, admitted possession of the lock knife, which had a seven centimetre blade, in Sainsbury’s store in Holland Market on March 15.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said security staff stopped Krzoska at 6pm because he was suspected of theft, but he ran away.
She said he was caught and he handed over the lock knife and police were called.
She said he told them he was homeless and had the knife for protection and also to cut his bread.
Mark Hudson, mitigating for Krzoska, said there had been no theft from the store and that he had voluntarily handed over the knife.
“It was in his pocket and he didn’t threaten anyone with it,” he told the magistrates.
Mr Hudson said Krzoska did tell police he might use the knife to defend himself, but he lived in a tent in Spalding and used the knife to cut up food.
He said Krzoska had been homeless since he had gone to live with his uncle following a family tragedy in his native Poland when he was 16, which had left him traumatised, but his uncle had defaulted on the rent and had had to leave the home, leaving him homeless with no income at all.
He added that Krzoska was not aware it was illegal to carry a knife in the UK.
The magistrates said they were satisfied he had no malicious intent and imposed a 12 month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation and ordered him to pay £85 in charges.