When the police were investigating an alleged theft at a Warwick town centre hotel they found the night porter had a lock knife on him and drugs in his rucksack.
But after hearing that Paul Jones had ‘turned a corner’ since the incident, a judge at Warwick Crown Court gave him a conditional discharge for 12 months.
Jones, aged 21, of Tennyson Avenue, Warwick, who had pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article and possessing cannabis and mephedrone, was also ordered to pay £85 costs.
He was formally found not guilty of the theft of a phone, which he had denied, after prosecutor Paul Mytton said that no evidence would be offered against him on that allegation.
Mr Mytton said that in January 2013 Jones was working as the night porter at the Lazy Cow hotel in Warwick when the police were called over the alleged theft of a mobile phone.
As a result Jones was arrested and searched, and on him officers found a small lock knife with a 5.5cm blade.
He also had a small tub containing mephedrone, known as M-cat, worth £20, while in his rucksack they found £30 worth of cannabis.
When he was questioned Jones, who had been working at the Lazy Cow for three months, said there had been an incident previously which had caused him concern.
So he had the lock knife to protect himself in case of any further incidents, explaining that he would ‘rather hurt someone’ than get hurt himself.
Of the drugs, he said he had been given the M-cat by a friend, and had it to help keep himself awake during his duties at night.
Jones added that he had bought the cannabis for £30 for his own use, and had forgotten to take it out of his rucksack before going to work.
The court heard that in June 2013, while he was on bail, Jones was charged with further offences of having a bladed article and possessing cannabis, for which he was given a community order with unpaid work.
Referring to the report detailing how he had done under that order, his barrister Julian Harris commented: “It’s one of the best reports I’ve come across. He was congratulated for his co-operation and engagement.”
And he added that Jones, who has now got another job laying drains, has stopped using the two drugs completely.
Sentencing Jones, Recorder Nigel Daly told him: “These offences were committed before you received that community order, and if they had been dealt with at the same time it probably would not have made a great deal of difference.
“Since then you have done your order extremely well, you have given up taking illegal drugs, and you have got yourself a job and are doing very well.
“I am quite satisfied you have turned a corner in your life. It would be unfair to give you further punishment in relation to these offences which could have been dealt with at the same time.”