A MAN who was found to be carrying a knife in a bar after being reported to door staff for being in the ladies’ toilets has been jailed for five months.

Ryan Cox had the knife tucked in his trousers when he was initially approached by staff working in Che Bar in Stockton town centre after another person saw him brandishing the weapon.

A doorman took Cox outside of the venue to carry out a more thorough search which would be caught on the venues CCTV system, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said Cox was arrested by police following the incident on December 29 at around 2.20am.

He said: “A member of the security team received information that a man had been seen in the ladies’ toilets. He approached the defendant and asked him if he had a knife, which he denied, a quick pat-down revealed nothing but as the doorman let the defendant go, the defendant reached for something in his trousers.

“The doorman took him outside, which is covered by CCTV, and searched him again when he recovered a lock knife.”

Mr Newcombe told the court that Cox posed a significant risk of causing disorder by carrying a knife in a public place on a night out.

The 24-year-old, of Esk Road, Norton, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article.

Michele Turner, representing Cox, said the father-of-three had forgotten he was carrying the knife after using to cut up Christmas present boxes before heading out on the town with a friend and he said the knife never came out of his pocket.

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Cox for five months.

He said: “When you were found to be in possession of a lock knife it was because people had reported someone with a knife entered the female toilets.

“It didn’t only remain in your pocket because someone saw it out of your pocket otherwise you wouldn’t have been searched.

“Even without the fact of your previous conviction for possession of a knife in 2017, you would have been at serious risk of a prison sentence.

“I think there was a risk of disorder but I can’t say that I am sure that there was a serious risk of disorder.”