Belfast Telegraph

Man found with knives in his backpack at 2am told police they were for eating with

By Alan Erwin

A man arrested for carrying two knives in south Belfast in the middle of the night claimed he had them to eat with, a court heard yesterday.

A lawyer for David Olah - who has been earmarked for deportation - argued that police were wrongly trying to suggest a more "sinister" motive lay behind the incident.

The accused, a 19-year-old Slovakian national, was detained in the Lower Crescent area at around 2am on Wednesday.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police recovered a steak knife and another black-handled knife from a backpack he had just taken off.

Olah, from Avoniel Drive in the city, is charged with possessing an article with a blade or point in a public place.

As he appeared in the dock, a PSNI officer opposed bail due to fears of potential offending and an alleged risk to the public.

She claimed there were similarities between the circumstances of Olah's arrest and a previous robbery incident.

"When he was stopped he gave an account that he had the two knives to eat with," the officer told the court.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was also told that Olah was due to appeal a Home Office decision to have him for his deported.

A defence solicitor said the accused accepted that the knives were his.

But he insisted: "Police are trying to put something more sinister (to this) than his innocent explanation."

The solicitor said there were no other offences before the court, "other than the possession" of the knives.

Refusing bail, however, Judge Bagnall ruled there was a likelihood of re-offending.

She said: "The innocent explanation is a bit difficult to accept at 2am."

Olah was remanded in custody to appear again by videolink on September 15.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph