A KNIFE carrying bail breach offender told a social worker that he would 'probably' use the blade as a weapon, Greenock Sheriff Court has been told.

Owen Murray was caught with a kitchen knife in a Greenock close after being searched for drugs by police officers two years ago.

The 28-year-old had previously been charged with having a screwdriver on the same date and failing to disclose sharp items on his person to police.

Murray flouted multiple court-imposed orders, including curfew restrictions, later in 2022 while he also stole alcohol worth £37.50 from Morrisons in Greenock in June last year.

At a sentencing hearing, the court heard that 'concerning' details had arisen in a background report prepared by the criminal justice social work department.

Defence solicitor Amy Spencer said: "His attitude towards the knife offence is concerning.

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"He was asked by a social worker if he would use the blade when confronted by someone and he said 'Probably'."

Murray was stopped by plain-clothed police officers in a common close on Ann Street on August 22, 2022 who had attended the address in relation to a separate matter.

A prosecutor told the hearing: "The accused entered and was observed holding a quantity of cash in his hand. Police also noted a strong smell of cannabis.

"He appeared surprised upon seeing police and attempted to turn and walk away.

"Police identified themselves and the accused was detained for the purposes of a search under Misuse of Drugs Act legislation.

"A black-handled kitchen knife was found on his person during the search and he was arrested."

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Murray's lawyer said her client has moved away from the Greenock area and is engaging with addiction services.

Ms Spencer said: "His recent behaviour is indicative of a man with levels of insight and recognition of what was going on in his life.

"He is now not appearing in the cited or custody court every other week.

"He appears to have made inroads into his offending behaviour and is staying out of trouble nowadays."

Sheriff Anthony McGeehan said: "Possession of a weapon or a knife is obviously a serious matter.

"It would be a serious matter independent of the views of an accused person but the views you shared with social work into the risks caused by carrying a knife were particularly concerning and at the front of my mind when considering the disposal in this case."

The sheriff said he had been 'persuaded' to impose an alternative to custody.

Murray must complete 100 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and he will be supervised for the next year. A six-month tagging order, with a 7pm-7am curfew, was also imposed.