A teenager caught with a credit card that adapts into a flick knife is surviving on €14-a-week, a court heard.
Tomas Verbickas (19) has been homeless since his parents lost their house two years ago.
Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered a probation report and adjourned to February.
The defendant, of North Strand, Drogheda, Co Louth, admitted before Swords District Court to possession of a credit card that adapts into a flick knife.
Gda David Smith said he was on patrol at Castlegrange Heights, Swords, last July 30 when he searched Verbickas and found the item.
The officer said Verbickas told him he had the item "for his own protection".
Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said Verbickas had the weapon but did not intend using it.
She said he has had a difficult few years.
His parents lost their home two years ago and he has been homeless and living in hostels ever since.
Ms Kealy said the defendant also slept rough for two months.
She added that Verbickas is unemployed and on social welfare and, after arrears and rent, he is surviving on €14-a-week.
She also said that he would benefit from engaging with the probation service.