A MAN who was carrying a machete in a rucksack has been jailed for seven months.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Wesley Bentley had been involved in discussions with Leejay Withington over damage to Mr Withington's vehicle on June 11 last year.

Adam Watkins, prosecuting, said that the pair met each other again in Holmfield Green, Bolton, at 7.45pm that evening.

"The defendant was carrying a rucksack," said Mr Watkins.

"As the defendant put that rucksack down, Leejay Withington was able to see, within the rucksack, an unsheathed machete.

"Having seen that unsheathed machete in a public place Mr Withington was sufficiently alarmed to contact police."

Officers went to a nearby house where they found 44-year-old Bentley and some other men as well as a rucksack.

"Within that rucksack there was not simply a machete, but also, albeit unseen by the witness, an axe and a knife," said Mr Watkins.

The court heard that Bentley, of Towers Avenue, Bolton, initially claimed they were gardening tools he was taking to be sharpened.

But in court he pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a machete in public.

Recorder Fiona Ashworth was told that Bentley has a lengthy record for 204 crimes, starting when he was aged just 14, but has never previously been prosecuted for weapons offences.

Michael Blakey, defending, stressed: "Although he had an appalling record there is nothing on that record in relation to knives.

"The defendant had been working as a landscape gardener and tree surgeon. He uses tools for that work but he accepts that he had no reasonable excuse to have that machete with him on that particular day."

Recorder Ashworth sentenced Bentley to seven months in prison and ordered that the machete, axe and knife be destroyed.

"I have seen photographs of the machete and it is a very frightening weapon," she said.

The judge told Bentley: "You have been in and out of prison most of your life. You have the potential to support your family and yet you commit offences."