A 19-year-old man has been jailed for six months after being caught carrying a 2ft-long machete following a fight in the city centre.
Giovanni Campbell, of Stock Well, Bulwell, was quickly detained by security staff as he ran through the intu Victoria Centre following a fight involving 10-15 masked people in the car park outside moments earlier, at around 4.30pm on Wednesday (February 7).
Officers were swiftly on the scene and arrested Campbell and recovered the weapon, which was in a sheath. He was later charged with possession of a bladed article and admitted the offence at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court this morning (Friday, February 9).
The court was told Campbell and a 17-year-old boy were set upon by a group of unknown males for an unknown reason. The 17-year-old suffered severe bruising to the head after being kicked and stamped on. He attended the Queen’s Medical Centre but was later discharged.
In mitigation, the court heard Campbell accepted he had the weapon on him but claimed it was for ‘self-defence’ as he had previously been a victim of knife crime.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Let’s be clear, carrying a knife does not protect you. It puts you more at risk of coming to harm. As this case shows it has led to a young man being locked up and having a criminal record that will no doubt affect his future prospects.
“If this weapon had been used the consequences would have been even more serious.
“Nottinghamshire Police and our partners are committed to tackling knife crime and we would call on everyone in the community to help us rid our streets of knives.
“The message starts at home and parents and family members have a key role to play in educating and preventing this type of offence. Schools, health services and other organisations who come into contact with young people can also help us achieve a situation where we are not having to lock up young people who could have brighter futures without knives.
“I would like to praise the swift actions of the security staff at the intu Victoria Centre and our officers who have put this offender before the court, resulting in a jail sentence, in under 36 hours of the offence taking place.”
A court order was made for the destruction of the machete. Campbell was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
We are still appealing for information about the fight. Anyone with information is urged to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 563 of February 7.
The sentencing comes as Nottinghamshire Police prepares to support Operation Sceptre, a national campaign on knife crime next week (February 12 to 18).