A JOINER who 'forgot' he had two knives in his pockets when he went to a pub near Skipton has escaped an immediate prison sentence.

Gregory Knox, 28, was arrested in a lay-by near Skipton and taken into custody on suspicion of a driving offence, and when searched by officers was found to have a lockable knife and a Stanley knife in his overall pockets, heard Skipton Magistrates Court on Friday. He was also charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis and in March last year received a driving ban.

Magistrates last week also sentenced him to eight weeks in custody for each offence of carrying a a knife in a public place, but suspended the sentence for 12 months.

The court heard that Knox had been working in Manchester on February 22 last year, had returned at lunchtime and had decided to meet friends and had spent the afternoon playing pool and watching football in a pub in Carleton.

He was on his way home to Ilkley when he pulled into a layby at Drebley Lane, Drebley, near Skipton,  to answer his phone where he was arrested by officers and taken to the police station where the knives were found.

Knox, who admitted two charges of being in possession of two locking knives in a public place, had not worked since losing his driving licence last year, the court heard.

In mitigation, Charles Creasey said Knox used the knives for work and they had been in his overall pockets when police came across him in the layby; he was also driving the van he used for work which had his other tools in it.

It was 'just short of a reasonable excuse' said Mr Creasey who added before the offences Knox had been a man of good character.

Probation officer, Andrew Watson, said Knox, who lived with and had the support of his parents, was very remorseful. He had forgotten his work implements were in his pockets and had no intention to cause anyone any harm with them.

Mr Watson said Knox understood why the courts took such offences seriously and was aware knives could cause serious and possibly fatal injuries.

"He realises the error of his ways, will learn and not commit these offences in the future, " said Mr Watson.

Magistrates told Knox, of Westville Road, Ilkley, that there was no question that the offences passed the custody threshold.

He was sentenced to eight weeks for both offences to run concurrently, but suspended for 12 months. He will also have to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and up to ten rehabilitation activity requirement days. There was no award of costs, but he will have to pay a surcharge of £154. A deprivation order was made for the knives.