Second chance given after suspended sentence breach

A MOUNT Gambier man found in possession of four push knives while serving a suspended sentence for a weapons-related crime has narrowly avoided time behind bars.

Andrew David Howe, 34, appeared in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court pleading guilty to breaching a suspended sentence bond by possessing a prohibited weapon and failing a drug test.

In February this year, Howe was sentenced to four months and six days in prison – suspended on a 12 month good behaviour bond – after police searched his property and found homemade firearms and brass knuckle dusters.

The fresh offending occurred on June 1 when police received a Crimestoppers report and attended his home, where they found four push knives in a camouflage bag.

The defendant’s lawyer said the handmade knives were used for hunting.

“The knives are used to skin animals – they are very small and self-made,” he said.

The court heard the defendant had also failed a drug test.

“These are very dangerous items that could cause significant damage to a human,” Magistrate Teresa Anderson said.

“I will consider you made these knives before being apprehended on the previous firearms, drugs and weapons charges and you volunteered the knives to police when they attended your home.

“A condition of your bond was that you are not allowed to use cannabis – you did not comply with the bond.”

Magistrate Anderson ordered the forfeiture of the knives and extended Howe’s good behaviour bond by six months for the breach.

He was sentenced to a further 18 days in prison suspended on another six month, $300 bond.

“You now have two terms of imprisonment hanging over your head,” she told the defendant.

“I have given you a second chance – if you do not comply with the terms of these bonds you may well go to jail.”