Tree lopper says knife was for 'early morning thieves'

JAY-DEE Richardson was spotted in the middle of the night at a public phone box.

So curious Ipswich police officers dropped by for a 2.30am chat - Richardson saying he was texting his mum.

When questioned, Richardson, 35, a tree lopper, told officers he had a knife on him, intended to fight off any thieves, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said officers had been on patrol through Jacaranda St and saw a male at the public phone box.

"He says he was visiting a female and decided to go to the phone box to text his mother as his mobile phone had ran out of credit," Sgt Caldwell said.

"The knife, a small 4cm blade, could be extended and he says it was a rope knife.

"He says it was early morning and didn't want to get rolled if confronted by a thief and would fight back as he had been rolled before and you never know who you would meet."

Richardson told police he did not know that to have a knife in public was an offence.

Jay-Dee Clayton Richardson, from East Ipswich, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place at 2.30am on June 4.

He told magistrate Andy Cridland that it was a work knife he used as a tree lopper.

Mr Cridland expressed concern at the reason stated by Richardson for carrying the knife.

And warned Richardson that people do come before the court on very serious offences where someone was carrying a knife and used it.

Richardson was fined $300 - sent to SPER, the knife seized.