A NOSY neighbour who went to ask police officers what they were doing on a Blackburn housing estate ended up being found with a martial arts throwing knife and cannabis.

Soon-to-be father Tom Garner is now starting an 18-month stint in a young offenders' institution after Preston Crown Court heard it was the third time he had been caught with a weapon in a public place.

The court heard the 19-year-old was also in breach of a 24-month suspended sentence he had been given in October for an offence of wounding and a weapons possession offence.

The butterfly knife was seen protruding from a manbag across Garner’s chest when he approached officers forcing entry into a neighbour’s house in Dickinson Close at lunchtime on January 7 and asked them what was going on.

The weapon, which was in a sheath, was immediately taken off him.

Garner, 19, of Dickinson Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place, possession of cannabis and breaching a suspended sentence.

Defending, Richard English said: “He has had a very unfortunate start in life. He knows that prison is inevitable.

"He is a young man but there is a lack of maturity,

“He made admissions in his statement when interviewed and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

“This doesn’t represent an escalation of his offending. It’s a repetition.

“It was committed in slightly unusual circumstances. It was not an offence where there was a real effort to conceal the weapon. The officer saw it immediately.

“He has sought ways to deal with his mental health and that has led him to problems with drugs. In prison he is drug-free.

“There was a lack of maturity and poor decision making. He has some growing up to do and quickly. He is very much at a turning point.”

Sentencing Garner, Recorder Mary Prior QC said she accepted the defendant had a difficult start in life and hoped he would use his time in custody productively so he would be a good father and productive member of society upon his release.

She said: “The circumstances of this offence are unusual in that I accept that you were not intending to use your weapon for any particular purpose. But you know as well you should not have had a butterfly knife on you in any event or any kind of knife because there is always the risk that if you have any such item you end up using it.”