A NEWPORT man caught carrying a knuckleduster "for protection" has been sentenced.

Keelan Hobbs, of Barton Road, appeared before Isle of Wight magistrates on Tuesday. 

At a previous hearing, the 21-year-old admitted possession of a weapon in a private place, in Newport, on June 4. 

Prosecutor, Ann Smout, told the court a support worker at the homeless assessing centre, Howard House, on Barton Road, had been working on the day in question. 

The support worker had been told Hobbs had a knuckleduster on him, and when he was questioned, he admitted he had the weapon to protect himself. 

He said if it was taken away from him, he would have no form of protection if he got stabbed. 

Mrs Smout said, when Hobbs relinquished the knuckleduster, he told the support worker "he was dead". 

Amy Hosell, defending, said Hobbs had been attacked just days before — run over and beaten up — and was fearful of being attacked again. 

Ms Hosell said Hobbs had no intention of using the knuckle duster, and knew he shouldn't have had it.

The court heard he had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and ADHD, but was now in a more positive place.

Hobbs, in breach of a suspended sentence, was given a 12-month community order, to include 20 rehabilitation days and 300 hours of unpaid work. 

His suspended sentence was activated, but only in part, and the 15 days he had already spent in custody meant he would not spend any further time in prison. 

Hobbs was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £95 surcharge.