A 20-year-old Sheffield man found with a knife for the third time in under four years has been put behind bars.
Judge Roger Thomas QC sentenced Ihtishaam Tariq to 146 days in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a bladed article.
During the sentencing at Sheffield Crown Court this morning, the court was told how Tariq’s offending was brought to light after officers patrolling on December 8 last year noticed a number of people congregating around a vehicle in a car park in Darnall.
Prosecuting, Amy Earnshaw, told the court: “Around this vehicle were a number of males who were surrounding it, which seemed suspicious. On seeing the police vehicle these males dispersed. The officers followed the vehicle, which sped off.”
Ms Earnshaw said that when officers caught up with the vehicle and attempted to speak to the occupants they noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle.
Tariq was the driver of the vehicle, and during a search officers found him to be in possession of a quantity of Class A and Class B drugs, as well as a switch knife.
The court was told how Tariq was given a warning for being in possession of a bladed article in May 2014, and was made the subject of a 12-month community order for the same offence in March 2017 that was still in place when this offence was committed.
Andrew Smith, defending, told the court that Tariq had armed himself with the knife due to being some £3,500 in debt to people from his peer group.
“He hastens to add the debt is not to do with drugs,” said Mr Smith, adding that the defendant should be given due credit for his early guilty plea.
Passing sentence, Judge Thomas told Tariq: “When you were found in possession of a bladed article last year you were made the subject of a community order in March. You came up with all manner of reasons, but whatever they are, it does not matter because the problem is this: if young men choose to go out with a knife the next thing is always some sort of trouble.”