Published: 10:00, 21 August 2019
A five-inch serrated pizza cutter hidden in a known criminal’s waistband was “for cutting the stems of roses”, a court heard.
Peter Wood also claimed tin foil in his pocket was to wrap and protect the flowers, after police searched him.
The 36-year-old was jailed for his third offence of possessing a bladed article in public at Canterbury Crown Court.
Wood, of Margate, argued the blade was part of a business plan, where he’d snip wild flowers at the stem, and peddle them on Margate’s streets.
Prosecutor Bridget Todd said: “Officers were looking for him for a recall to prison, they attended his known address, he wasn’t there, then attended Union Row in Margate and found a makeshift bed.
“Officers noted the defendant was outside the block of flats, they went to speak with him, and when they asked if they had anything on him he said he did.
“He lifted his waistband and revealed a large curved knife.
“He said he was going to cut roses with it and sell roses on the street.”
The court heard Wood had 57 offences on 33 occasions, including two for possessing a bladed article - the last offence included a machete.
When Judge Mark Weekes saw a picture of the blade, he said: “I don’t understand how that would be used to trim flowers.
“The news is full of knife crime as you recognise, that has reached epidemic proportions, and that is the reason the law is so tightly drafted,” he added.
“This offence is so serious that only an immediate sentence in custody is justified.”
Mitigating, Phil Rowley said Wood had since cleaned up his act and a “good deal of order has come of it.”
Mr Rowley argued Wood’s handyman job explained why he could be cutting flowers, adding he was also carrying a garden tool at the time of his arrest.
“He had some foil in his pocket for wrapping up roses,” he added.
Wood was convicted at Margate Magistrate’s Court after trial following the offence on October 5 last year, however, he failed to surrender for sentencing.
Judge Weekes jailed Wood for six months for carrying the blade and one month for failing to surrender.
More by this authorSean Axtell