A MAN convicted for the eighth time for knife-carrying has had his wish fulfilled and has returned to prison.

Lee Wilson’s latest offence was committed on October 12 when police received a report of a man with a knife standing outside an address in Sunningdale, Delves Lane, Consett, at 4.30am.

Durham Crown Court heard that reaching the scene, an inspector noticed a man ducking down in front of a parked vehicle, having become aware police were in the vicinity.

As the officer approached, Wilson ran off in the direction of a nearby garden, but he was pursued and detained by the inspector.

Phillip Morley, prosecuting, told the court that on arrest Wilson immediately said he had a knife in his jacket pocket, and a search revealed the 5in-bladed weapon.

In a later interview Wilson said he had recently been released from prison and was struggling with alcohol and drug misuse, having taken heroin and drunk three litres of cider that night.

Mr Morley said Wilson had no explanation why he was in possession of the knife.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Sunningdale, admitted possessing a bladed article in public.

Mr Morley said the defendant has 30 convictions for 47 offences, seven previously for knife carrying.

He said Wilson’s first offence, as a juvenile in 2000, was for possessing a knife in public, and he has gone on to serve several prison sentences for subsequent similar convictions.

The court heard there is now a statutory minimum prison sentence of six months for those convicted of the offence for the second time or more, rising up to four years.

Stephen Duffield, for Wilson, told the court: “He has an appalling record for carrying knives and expects a substantial sentence today.

“Curiously, he would welcome it, as prison is the only place where he feels at home, and the only place where he would receive help for his drink and drug problem.

“Although he has a number of offences for carrying knives, he has very few for actually causing injury.”

Jailing him for 18 months, Deputy Circuit Judge James Spencer QC told Wilson: “Alarmingly, you were out in the street on your own when a police officer caught up with you and you told him about the knife and it was produced.

“It’s clear you weren’t managing your liberty well, due to your problems with drink and drugs.”

The judge also ordered the return of the knife to the defendant’s mother, whose nearby house he was staying at, following his most recent release from prison.