A PINEHURST teen narrowly avoided receiving a suspended prison sentence after he carried his friend’s knife through Swindon.

Lewie Jay Horgan was stopped by officers patrolling Dryden Street in the town centre on February 28, and was subjected to a drugs search.

They found no illicit substances but did find a six-inch blade. He would later admit that he picked it up from his friend’s house and wanted to return it.

He pleaded guilty to knife possession at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, where District Judge Joanna Dickens was moments away from giving him a suspended sentence.

But, the judge said a “lenient sentence” was justified because he had reduced his drug usage and that he is now in work.

Addressing the 19-year-old, District Judge Dickens warned: “Carrying knives for young people could be a death sentence.

“You don’t need me to tell you all the young people like you dying and they’re dying because they’re carrying knives.

“When people carry knives stuff happens, and unfortunately, they’re stabbings and deaths.

“You are the most vulnerable, it is not likely to be people my age, it is likely to be you or people your age.”

The court had earlier been told that since the offence, he had started doing night shifts at a Home Bargains warehouse in Amesbury, and District Judge Dickens said she didn’t want any unpaid work to conflict with that.

“I don’t want to interfere with the work because it sounds like it is a way you can stay out of trouble and lead a more positive life in the future,” she said.

She fined Horgan, of Tedder Close, £200, as well as implementing a 12-month community order which will see him complete 15 rehabilitation activity days.

Earlier, prosecutor Keith Ballinger told the court how a week after the knife arrest, he had been stopped again, this time in Cambria Place.

Officers found 11 bags of cannabis and four of a white powder which turned out to be cocaine.

Mitigating, Emma Hiller said: “He tells me he hasn’t used cocaine since the day of the offence, he’s had a wake-up call, and his cannabis usage has decreased as well.

“He’s now a hard-working young man, he doesn’t have a history of carrying knives apart from this one.”

She labelled the knife offence as an “immature action”.

Horgan must also pay £85 in court costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

He received no separate penalty for possession of Class A and Class B drugs.