A MAN who was found unconscious in the street with a kitchen knife hidden in his trousers had taken pills to get high, a court heard.

Michael George Quinn appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

John Garside, prosecuting, said: "Police attended a street in Easington Colliery at around 10.30pm on July 15 where the defendant was being tended to by paramedics.

"He was searched and they found a kitchen knife down his trousers.

"He was subsequently interviewed by police when he accepted that he was in possession of the knife but he could not recall the events due to his level of intoxication."

Quinn, of Pinedale Drive, South Hetton, has 27 previous convictions for 55 offences, including a previous conviction of possession of a bladed article.

A report from probation said the 39-year-old had met up with a friend on the day of the incident and they had taken pills "to get high".

He said: "He has no memory of the incident, he recalls waking up in hospital the following day. He was shown CCTV which shows him falling unconscious in the street and he puts that down to the pills and the alcohol he had also consumed.

"He has no idea in terms of the kitchen knife and clearly regrets his behaviour."

Quinn was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months.

He must also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £121 and £85 court costs.