Judge gives man armed with kitchen knife after dispute with his partner in Bellshill 'a chance' following appearance at Hamilton Sheriff Court

A dispute with his former partner led to a man arming himself with a blade and going to her house.

David Simpson was seen "pacing up and down the footpath" and when police officers caught up with him they found a kitchen knife in his jacket pocket.

Simpson, 43, of Bute Terrace, Tannochside, once served a five-year sentence for serious assault.

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He narrowly avoided another prison term at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week when he admitted possession of a knife in North Road, Bellshill, on October 22 last year.

The court heard that the new partner of Simpson's ex was in his home in Kelvin Road, Bellshill, when he heard someone at the door at 8.15am.

He looked out of the window and saw Simpson "pacing up and down the footpath, looking agitated and under the influence".

Due to "previous issues", the man contacted the police. Simpson was detained nearby. His eyes were dilated and his speech was slurred, so officers searched him as a drugs suspect before recovering a knife.

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Simpson's lawyer said there had been problems with his ex-partner and her boyfriend. He had the weapon "for his protection" as threats had been made on social media.

The solicitor added: "This was entirely the wrong thing to do. He understands that carrying a knife can lead to trouble and wishes to apologise to his ex-partner for causing her extreme panic.

"His record does him no favours.

"He has a difficulty with drug misuse, but his last conviction before this was in 2020 so he has made some progress."

Sheriff Ray Small noted that Simpson was jailed for five years at the High Court in 2001 and since then has been in prison three times for knife offences.

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The sheriff said he was willing to give him a chance this time and imposed an electronic tagging order, banning Simpson from leaving home between 7pm and 7am for 135 days.

He warned: "If you breach this tag it's almost certain that you will get a custodial sentence instead."