A MAN with a 'unenviable' criminal record has been warned he faces prison if he breaches his suspended sentence for carrying a knife.

Dennis Dunn was arrested after police were called to Che Bar in Stockton town centre following reports of a drunken man who was causing trouble.

When police arrived, it was discovered the defendant had a small knife in his backpack and he was arrested.

The 54-year-old, who was living in a Stockton hostel at the time of the offence in November, has a long history of violence, dishonesty and carrying weapons, including a bayonet, dating back to the 80s, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said: "Police were called to Che Bar as there was a report of a man in possession of a knife. When police found the defendant he was under the influence of drink."

Dunn pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a bladed article when he appeared at an earlier hearing at Teesside Magistrates Court.

Simon Walker, mitigating, accepted that his client has an 'unenviable record' and a transient lifestyle which accounted for his regular appearances in courts around the country.

He told the court that the knife had been left in the rucksack after Dunn left the Stockton area following the attack and slept rough in a tent in the Weardale area four four weeks before returning to Stockton.

Mr Walker urged the judge not to jail the defendant as 'prison wasn't the best solution' to his problems.

He said: "This knife was never brandished, it was inside a pocket inside his rucksack. He handed it over to the police when they came and he wasn't difficult with the officers."

Judge Antony Brown decided to suspend his prison sentence as Dunn's imprisonment would be 'a drain on the public purse'.

He said: "I accept you had in your bag a weapon but there was no indication that you had used it or brandished it in any way."

Dunn was sentenced to six months imprisonment for possession of a knife and given a three month consecutive sentence for breaching a previous suspended sentence. Judge Brown then suspended the nine month sentence for two years. He was also put on a three month tagged curfew between 9pm and 7.30am.