Northern Ireland

Former runner Adam Ingram 'hid knives between his buttocks'

A former top runner has been given a suspended jail sentence for having knives concealed between his buttocks.

Adam Ingram also admitted defecating in a police cell and taking a car without the owner's authority.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard how the 20-year-old had been a "brilliant" athlete whose life was now at a crossroads.

Ingram, of Deacon Street in the city, was charged with having a bladed article in a public place.

Defence lawyers said three knives were discovered secreted between his buttocks after he was arrested and searched by police on 29 March.

The taking of a motor vehicle without consent related to an incident at a party in February.

A third charge of criminal damage involved Ingram defecating in a cell last week.

'Brilliant runner'

A defence lawyer said his client's problems were linked to a family bereavement and drugs issues.

"This man is really at a crossroads; he was a brilliant runner," he told the court.

The accused was said to have been part of Irish training camps, held an 800 metres record at his level, and been under consideration for a future major championship.

"As for the knives - they were bought in the city centre and he can't explain that at all," the lawyer added. "They are linked to drug and alcohol consumption."

District Judge Fiona Bagnall took into consideration the fact that Ingram had pleaded guilty to the charges and imposed concurrent two-month prison sentences for taking and driving away the vehicle and for possession of bladed articles.

Ingram was given one month for the criminal damage. It will also run alongside the other sentences.

All of the jail terms were suspended for 12 months.