Pitiful case of a homeless addict found walking around Sheffield with Rambo knife

Franklin Tomlinson has been put behind bars again
-Credit: (Image: South Yorkshire Police)

A homeless man who turned to drug dealing after his last release from prison was caught wandering the streets with a Rambo-style knife.

Franklin Tomlinson, 64, was spotted by CCTV operators in Sheffield with a knife on August 12 last year. Prosecutor Ian West told Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday: "CCTV operators alerted police officers that they had seen him with a knife. Officers approached the defendant who ran off and was detained after a short chase.

"A short kitchen knife [was found]. During the chase, he discarded a bag containing a bigger knife. He was searched and a small amount of cocaine was found. His home was searched and a small amount of cannabis was recovered. He was charged and released on bail." Mr West said the larger knife was a "rambo-style knife."

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The court heard that although Tomlinson, of Haslam Crescent, Low Edge, had been bailed for those offences - possession of bladed articles and possession of cocaine and cannabis - he went on to commit a second set of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Mr West did not go into the details of those offences in court, but it was said Tomlinson had previous convictions on his record.

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Mitigating, Richard Adams, told the court he had been released from prison in February 2023 and was "effectively homeless". The court heard: "He had a class A habit of many years. In circumstances where he found support, frankly through old contacts, he relapsed back into drug use."

Mr Adams said it had been suggested through the offending "he was covering his own use to some degree and identified he had a considerable drug habit that he simply could not meet by use of his benefits at the time."

The barrister added: "Given his past lifestyle, his health has been affected. There has been issues of arthritis, there have been more serious issues in terms of his kidneys and his heart. Then since his time in custody he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer."

It was said that Tomlinson has had the cancer removed but will continue to undergo radiotherapy for the next three years. Mr Adams added: "The circumstances are different for this defendant."

Recorder Palmer jailed Tomlinson for four-and-a-half years and said he will serve half of that period in custody before being released on licence.