Man took large knife into police station in 'cry for help'

A man who took a seven-inch kitchen knife to a police station in a "cry for help" has been given another chance.

In an offence that echoed one he committed in 2017, Sanchez Simpson took the large weapon with him to Dewsbury Police Station on March 27 this year. The 31-year-old told officers he was struggling with his mental health and was concerned he was going to hurt himself or others.

Prosecutor Curtis Dunkley told Leeds Crown Court on Monday: "Information was given that he was in possession of a knife. He showed he had a kitchen knife in his jacket.

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"He was interviewed and made the admission he took the knife from his aunt's and said he went to the police station to get arrested. He said he wanted to get help for his declining mental health as he wasn't getting help from social services. He has a history of non-compliance with court orders and non-custodial sentences."

Mr Dunkley said Simpson, of no fixed abode, had "no intention" of using the knife and had taken it with him "just to get arrested" and was seeking help for his mental health.

Mitigating, Tom Jackson told the court: "I understand that the circumstances of this offence are as they were in 2018 and he tells me as his previous [offence.] What stands out is that he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment which doesn't seem to do the job."

The court heard Simpson's mental health took a decline in the six months before the carrying out of the offence of possession of a bladed article due to the loss of his younger brother and uncle.

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Mr Jackson said: "This cry for help - it was a cry for help - seems to have worked in the sense as at that time his mum was fearful she would answer a knock at the door from police who would say they had found his body.

"His mum has helped him and he has been getting medication from his GP."

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The court heard Simpson had also been offered a job as a labourer for a private landlord and would be living with his uncle.

Recorder Hassall KC told Simpson: "It should be obvious given your previous convictions that if you find yourself with a knife in public the court is directed to give you six months in jail and if that is your way of seeking help then that is the sort of help you will get.

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"It seems to me that you do need some help and it seems to me that you were at no risk of causing any harm to anyone when you carried a knife on this occasion and the purpose of carrying a knife was to bring yourself to the attention of the authorities so you could seek what you consider to be helpful attention from them.

"It is rarely appropriate to suspend a sentence for this kind of offence and that is what I'm going to do today knowing and accepting if you do not take the help from the probation service that they will be bringing you back here and another judge on another day will have little choice but to send you to prison."

Recorder Hassall made Simpson the subject of a six-month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered him to undertake 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.