A man who was arrested in possession of five knives outside Ballina Garda station in Co Mayo has been given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty.
The Irish Times reports that 26-year old Matteusz Batiuk of no fixed abode was carrying the blades in a holdall when he was stopped by gardaí outside the Garda station on Lord Edward Street in Ballina on May 24th last.
Ballina District Court heard he had purchased them earlier that day and painted the blades black.
The shop assistant who sold the knives noticed Mr Batiuk, who the court heard has paranoid schizophrenia, was acting “peculiar” and reported her concerns to the Garda.
They used CCTV to identify and locate him before arresting him as he walked past the Garda station. One of the knives was protruding from the holdall at the time of his arrest.
The Polish national was charged under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, while a second charge relating to the theft of a powerwasher from a tool-hire business in Ballina was also taken into consideration by the court.
The court heard that he had seven previous convictions including assault, theft, and public-order offences.
He pleaded guilty to both offences and received a four-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to keep taking his medication and not to be in possession of knives in public places.