Published: 10:10, 25 March 2019
| Updated: 12:07, 25 March 2019
A judge has blasted the culture of posting photographs glamorising violence on social media after an image surfaced of a youth brandishing a “nasty” looking hunting knife on Snapchat.
Judge Philip Statman told Bailey White, "an immature" 18-year-old, from Shelduck Close, Allhallows, Rochester, that a Snapchat post - which was taken from his Facebook page - showing a man with the huge blade was "appalling".
He said: "It's shocking that someone should post that.
"But even more shocking is that it should attract five smiley faces. That shows why the community requires protection."
Judge Philip Statman said there was no evidence White had posted the photograph.
He heard how police had stopped his BMW in Tunbridge Wells in January. He handed over a camouflaged hunting knife.
Prosecutor Tony Prosser said in the back of the car, where four of his pals were sitting, officers found three more knives.
He told Maidstone Crown Court after being given police bail he was caught with a concealed kitchen knife less three weeks later.
Road worker White claimed he was involved in a long-running dispute with a relative and took the knives for his own protection.
He told police he had the weapon for self-defence after receiving threats.
The judge was shown a photograph from social media of someone holding a hunting knife – but was told there was no evidence it was White who posted the picture.
The judge said: "Sadly, sitting in this court year after year, one thing is absolutely clear, if you carry a knife in a public place you are one step away from absolute tragedy.
“There is understandably a concern in the public and I am convinced in my own mind of a need for a substantial, immediate deterrent sentences.”
White, who admitted two charges of possessing a knife in public and possessing cannabis, was sent to a Young Offenders’ Institute for a year.
Iestyn Morgan, defending, said White was immature for his age but was looking after his ill father and had moved away from Hadlow to get away from the "wrong crowed" he had become involved with.
Police Constable Levi Caruana said: "This case is a clear example of Kent Police taking a zero tolerance approach towards people who chose to carry a knife in a public place.
"White was promptly arrested when we received an allegation he had threatened someone with a weapon but, despite being charged and bailed for the offence, he chose to reoffend.
"His decision to continue carrying a knife endangered himself and other members of the public and it is entirely appropriate that we worked quickly with the Crown Prosecution Service and local courts to secure an immediate custodial sentence."