A MAN caught with two knives while on a suspended sentence for stabbing someone has been given a chance to start college and rehabilitate himself.

Melvin Chuaga had a large sheath knife as well as a small blade when he was spotted hiding from police near the town centre.

But after hearing from probation that the 23-year-old churchgoer, who had already breached the order once, was doing well a judge told him: “You have a future ahead of you. You should seize it with both hands, if you spurn it you won’t be given another chance.”

Swindon Crown Court heard the suspended sentence was imposed in October 2016 for weapons offences and for stabbing former boxer Scott Cadder in the leg while trying to take back his bike during a fracas outside Milverton Court in Park North.

His victim needed three stitches. Two days later Chuaga was found to be armed with a sharpened screwdriver.

At the latest hearing Simon Goodman, prosecuting, told the court the defendant was found with the weapons on April 30.

He said a pair of community support officers on Groundwell Road saw the defendant ducking in an alleyway, then hiding behind a car.

They asked for police support and when an officer arrived they detained Chuaga, who had the large sheath knife at his side.

He also had a small knife in his pocket, which he said he carried to cut apples, and was not charged with possessing it.

And he claimed he had hidden in the alleyway out of habit having just been dropped off after buying the sheath knife earlier that day for £5.

Chuaga, of Redhouse Gardens, admitted possessing a bladed article - a charge that carries a mandatory six months’ imprisonment because of his previous conviction.

Rob Ross, defending, said probation had been very positive about his client, an intelligent man who had applied to start college.

Many of his problems stemmed from smoking cannabis too much and the pre-sentence report indicated he was trying to stop.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said despite the breach, he had made progress. “You have changed your peer group. The level of risk of harm you have posed has been reduced.

“It is that combination of reasons that have led me to conclude that it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence."

He imposed a nine month jail term suspended for 18 months with 285 hours of unpaid work.

A fellow worshipper at the Biblelife Fellowship church gave character evidence telling how the incident was out of character.