Boy (18) joins his brothers in Mountjoy
A youth who threw away a penknife when he spotted gardai claimed he had been bottled during an altercation with another man and carried it for his own protection, a court heard.
Michael Byrne (18) said he felt threatened and was also in fear for his life as he owed money to drug dealers.
Judge Patrick Brady sentenced Byrne, who is one of 10 children, to six months in prison, which he will spend in Mountjoy with three of his brothers who are already serving sentences.
Byrne, with an address at Belcamp Crescent, Priorswood, admitted before Swords District Court to public drunkenness and possession of a knife.
The incident took place at Clonshaugh Avenue, Coolock, on October 13, 2007.
Garda Brian Healy said he was on mobile patrol at 11.55pm when he saw the defendant throw a knife into a fence as he drove past.
He stopped and spoke to Byrne, who said the knife was for his own protection. The garda said Byrne was drunk at the time, and his speech was slurred.
Defence lawyer Brendan Foley said Byrne was quite seriously injured earlier that evening after he was bottled in the face during an altercation.
Mr Foley said Byrne's father was a heroin addict, and his parents split up when he was 15 years old. This was traumatic for Byrne, and he started abusing alcohol, cocaine and sleeping pills.
The court heard that Byrne has 31 previous convictions, and is currently serving three years for robbery. He is not due for release until January 2011.
Mr Foley said Byrne is dyslexic and is learning to read and write in prison.
The defendant further pleaded guilty to simple possession of €150 worth of cocaine on Macroom Avenue, Coolock in September 2007, and causing €800 worth of damage to a car in Darndale in August 2008.
Judge Patrick Brady sentenced Byrne to six months in prison to start once he has served his three-year sentence.
The judge said he would be failing in his duty if he did not send Byrne to prison due to the dangerous nature of the item he was carrying and the tendency for such items to be used in acts of violence.