A MAN caught with a knife in a Greenock street told police that he'd intended to cut a carpet with it — the previous night.

George Arkley — who had been stopped for a drug search — had no explanation for having the Stanley blade with him on Brachelston Street at 11 o'clock in the morning.

Arkley, 50, was facing potential jail time for the indictment offence after the sheriff court heard that he has previous convictions for violence.

But he has been placed on supervision and an electronic tagging order as an alternative.

The court heard how plain clothes police in an unmarked car pounced on Arkley after he'd spotted the officers and started 'walking briskly' away from them.

No drugs were found but Arkley had the green-handled knife with a one-inch blade in the a pocket of his jogging bottoms.

He initially stated: "I didn't know that was there."

But after being cautioned and charged later at Greenock police office he said: "I was going to cut a carpet last night."

Arkley's lawyer, Aidan Gallagher, told the court: "Whilst Mr Arkley has a record, he last lost his liberty some 20 years ago.

"He has subsequent convictions for assault in 2016 and 2018 but it is noteworthy that his rate of offending has reduced somewhat, but not stopped altogether."

One of Arkley's recent assault convictions was for spitting on a bar worker in a pub in Gourock.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes placed Arkley on an 18-month supervision order and an electronic tag to remain within his home at Royal Court on Bearhope Street between 7pm and 7am each day for eight months.