A SCRAP metal businessman was caught with a machete and an axe in central York in the early hours is today under a suspended prison sentence.

Tristan Abbott, 23, also had a lock knife on him, York Magistrates' Court heard.

A police drugs test revealed he was cannabis driving – the second of three times he was caught driving with the drug in his system in three months.

Today his scrap metal business has collapsed and he is off the roads for 15 months.

Abbott, of Giles Avenue, Tang Hall, denied three charges of having a blade in public but was convicted at a trial.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of cannabis driving, one each of possessing cocaine, possessing cannabis, driving without insurance, driving without a licence and one of driving a vehicle subject to a notice banning it from the roads until it was free of defects.

He was made subject to a 22-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he does 25 days’ rehabilitative activities and 100 hours’ unpaid work in addition to the 15-month driving ban. He must also pay £250 prosecution costs and a £154 statutory surcharge.

Defence solicitor Kevin Blount said Abbott used the axe, machete and lock knife in his scrap metal business and still had them with him when police spoke to him in his van at 2am in Albert Street, off Walmgate, on April 23.

He had not secured them as he should have done at the end of the working day.

“They were not intended for an unlawful purpose. There was a legitimate reason for having them,” said Mr Blount.

He had not used them other than for his work.

Police were on the lookout for a vehicle with the same registration as Abbott’s van which had been seen earlier in the day in a street where a member of the public had seen two men running with a weapon.

Abbott’s scrap metal business had collapsed because he needed to be able to drive and he had been given an interim disqualification when he admitted the driving offences. He now lived on universal credit.

The court heard that Abbott was caught cannabis driving at Howden near Goole on February 21 last year. He was arrested in Albert Street on April 23 when as well as the knife offences, he was cannabis driving and driving without insurance and had cocaine and cannabis on him. The van he was in had been made subject to a prohibition notice by South Yorkshire Police because it had defects and couldn’t be driven legally until they were repaired.

He was caught drug driving for a third time in Selby Road, Eggborough on May 18 when he was also driving without a licence.

He had no previous convictions.