A woman caught with a knife outside a hostel said she had it for ‘self-defence’.
20-year-old Ashleigh Powell was stopped by police when they responded to reports of an incident at Unity House in Wood Lane, Chippenham, on 7 August this year.
A member of staff had raised concerns about the homeless defendant, who was “getting more and more irritated and drinking vodka”, prosecutor Pauline Lambert told Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (23 August).
When officers spoke to Powell, she attempted to ignore them and did not cooperate. When they explained they were going to search her, produce a purple-handled kitchen knife from her waistband.
In a custody interview, she said that wanted to have something to defend herself with – but didn’t intend to use the knife, which had a six-inch blade.
Powell was living at Unity House at the time, but has since left.
Representing herself in court, she said: “There is not valid reason, even in self-defence, to carry a knife.
“I am trying to make positive changes after getting involved with the wrong people… I’ve realised now that things do need to change.
“I know it was completely wrong to carry a knife.”
She also confirmed that she is no longer drinking alcohol having come to the realisation that it is often the cause of her issues.
Powell, who gave a care-of address of Cotton House Gardens, Warminster, will be sentenced on 23 October – once a pre-sentence report is prepared by the probation service.
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