Man caught with cannabis and baton at countryside centre is spared jail

A REDDITCH man caught by police with cannabis and an offensive weapon at a countryside centre has escaped jail despite being in breach of a suspended prison sentence.

Rhys Lakin, aged 20, of Birchfield Road, was instead put under a curfew from 10pm until 7am for three months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work in the community.

He was also ordered to pay £500 towards court costs.

Lakin was told by Judge Robert Juckes QC the fact that he was still only 20 and had otherwise been complying with the conditions of his suspended sentence had saved him from going to prison or a young offenders institute.

Lakin admitted having cannabis and an auto-lock baton as an offensive weapon at the Arrow Valley Countryside Centre in Battens Drive, Redditch, on December 8 last year.

Harpreet Sandhu, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court that Lakin was found with a small amount of cannabis and a search of his car found the baton in a door pocket.

Mr Sandhu also said that Lakin was in breach of a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, imposed in October, after admitting assault in Redditch in May last year.

In that incident, he and another person had chased a man who was leaving a Redditch nightclub with his girlfriend in the early hours.

The victim had been pushed to the floor and Lakin had kicked him.

The other man suffered a cut head and bruising.

Charles Hamer, defending, said that Lakin had already paid off £900 of the £1,365 he had been ordered to pay in compensation and other costs following his last conviction.

He was unemployed but had applied to join the Army and his supervision by the probation service had a 'salutory effect' on him.

The judge warned Lakin: "I won't give you any further chances.

"I suspect you are not going to commit any further offences."

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