AN intoxicated man caught sitting in a shop doorway with a hammer and a lock knife has been spared an immediate jail sentence so he can continue treatment for his mental health problems.

Ian Moorhouse was seen by a police community support officer on patrol at the Fieldhead Business Centre in Great Russell Court, central Bradford, on the morning of Saturday, April 23.

Bradford Crown Court heard that he was carrying the hammer and there was a lock knife in his coat pocket.

Moorhouse, 52, of Centre Street, Little Horton, Bradford, was in an area frequented by beggars and he was under the influence of alcohol.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place at 8.30am.

He told the police he had no intention of using the knife and had found the hammer in the street.

Moorhouse had 42 previous convictions for 81 offences, including possession of a knife and an imitation firearm.

Aggravating features of the case were the earlier matters and the fact that he was under the influence of alcohol, the court was told.

He had 17 previous convictions for failing to comply with court orders.

His barrister, Abigail Langford, urged the court to allow Moorhouse to continue receiving treatment in the community for his paranoid schizophrenia.

His support worker had attended court with him and he had a designated psychiatrist to look after him.

Miss Langford pointed out that Moorhouse did not get the knife out or make any threats with it. He was homeless at the time and not carrying it as a weapon.

He now had stable accommodation and a member of the integrated outreach team was in regular contact with him.

He had been on bail and not committed any offences since.

Recorder James Baird said the offence was aggravated by Moorhouse’s criminal record that included three offences involving the possession of weapons.

But although he was behaving erratically that morning he put the hammer down and he never produced the knife.

Recorder Baird said Moorhouse ‘had made enormous progress over the last few months’ and he wasn’t about to undo all that good work by locking him up.

He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

He must undertake a six-month Mental Health Treatment Requirement and attend 20 rehabilitation activity days with the probation service.

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