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Man caught with knife told police it was for protection while 'telling Catholics they are going to hell', court hears

A Dungannon man caught with a knife told police he had the item for his own protection whilst going around “doing good works.”

Thomas Irwin Parr (67) of Church Mews was spoken to after police were asked to attend a charity shop at 4.30pm on March 20 to a report of a male with a knife.

Officers searched Parr and recovered the knife secreted in the waistband of his trousers.

He was asked what he had been doing and replied: “I am traveling about the area doing good works telling Roman Catholics they are going to hell.”

Officers further enquired why he had the knife to which he replied: “I have lost confidence in society to protect me.”

On being taken to custody and charged, Parr replied after caution: “There’s no use in saying anything.”

A defence solicitor said his client now knows he cannot carry a knife in public.

To this Deputy Distich Judge Gerry Trainor said: “He’ll know more about it when I’m finished with him. This a serious and sinister matter, particularly given the utterances at the scene.”

He ruled pre-sentence reports were required and remanded Parr on £250 bail to return to court next month.

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