Another Knife Case

While Ram received a mandatory life sentence for his rightful conviction for murder, the sentence handed down by Mr Justice Ognall to Narvinder Shinji does seem rather on the heavy side. Eighteen months simply for carrying a knife, and after the murder at that.

While researching something entirely different I came across the following report from 1965:

“A coloured man who pulled out a knife when arrested was warned by the West London magistrate, Mr. Seymour Collins, on Monday, that if he was caught with a knife again he would go to prison.” *

The man concerned was said to have been a 29 year old labourer of good character. He had been ejected from a public house with another man, who accused him of drawing a knife on him, as well as on the police officer who tried to move him on.

Whatever one thinks about the law on offensive weapons (and I have no doubt that it is a bad law), pulling a knife on someone in earnest, and on a police officer, is a different matter. The man in this case can think himself lucky that he escaped with a fine. Shinji’s case may in a sense be less serious, there is no suggestion that he drew his knife on anyone, but the weapon he was carrying was illegal, and he was also on bail at the time, in relation to an incident in which a man was stabbed to death, so he should have known better, and it may be that the judge handed down such a stiff sentence to reflect these circumstances.

* ‘Prison Next Time’ - Says Magistrate
Warning To Man Who Pulled Out Knife, published in the WEST LONDON AND HAMMERSMITH GAZETTE (Incorporating The Fulham and Hammersmith News), No. 2293, FRIDAY, 3rd SEPTEMBER, 1965, page 3. The same story also appeared in the WEST LONDON AND KENSINGTON GAZETTE (Incorporating The Fulham and Hammersmith News), No. 3590, FRIDAY, 3rd SEPTEMBER, 1965, page 3.

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