Knifeman said he was carrying blade in case he needed to cut cheese
A knifeman caught carrying a blade at a country park claimed he had the weapon with him in case he needed to cut cheese.
Police found a wooden handled steak knife in Winston Dodds' pocket when they searched him at Hetton Lyons Country Park in Sunderland, where he had been acting "agitated" last July.
Prosecutor Helen Towers told Newcastle Crown Court: "He admitted being in possession of the knife, stating it was his own, from home, that he carried in case he needed to use it to cut food, for example cheese, had he bought any from a shop."
Miss Towers said 48-year-old Dodds had been "shadow boxing" before the officers approached, was "waving his arms and shouting" and was holding a bottle of WKD alcohol.
The weapon was found in the front pocket of his jeans during the early evening search.
Dodds, of High Downs Square, Hetton le Hole, Sunderland, who has a criminal record, admitted possession of a bladed article.
Mr Recorder Keir Monteith QC sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am.
The judge told him: "You gave an explanation that the knife would be for cutting food, for example cheese, had you bought that from the shop."
Barry Robson, defending, said during the pandemic Dodds had ran out of medication that keeps him "rational" and struggled to get appointments.
Mr Robson said Dodds is now "taking better care of himself" and has reduced his alcohol intake.