Mother’s horror over dagger in back yard

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A mother of three from Creggan was horrified to discover two knives, one of which was a dagger, in her back garden this week.

The woman, too frightened to reveal her identity, said she’s still in a state of shock after stumbling across the blades while trimming the grass in her back garden in the Rinmore Drive area on Wednesday.

Only sheer good fortune intervened to ensure her three children, aged seven, 10 and 16 - especially the younger pair - didn’t get their hands on the weapons, she maintained.

“If my seven year old - had been out he would have thought they were pretend knives. He would have been playing with them. The children were in the next door neighbour’s house while I was cutting the grass. It just goes to show how easy it would have been for any of the local children around the street to have come across them.”

The discovery of the dagger, a knife of little practical utility other than as a weapon for stabbing people at close quarters, was disturbing.

“I was thinking was there someone in my yard? Was there someone trying my back door? Did they have the knives on them in case they were caught? Everything was going through my head then.

“It’s scary to think you could be walking past someone with knives like that in their pockets.”

Councillor Gary Donnelly said the discovery was an alarming development and warned carrying such weapons will only lead to criminal convictions, injuries or deaths.

“It is unsure how these weapons came to be placed there or the circumstances.

“It is a worrying development. I would appeal to whoever placed them there or young people carrying knives to reflect on their actions.”

He said the levels of knife crime that once plagued cities such as Limerick and Glasgow and which are currently endemic in certain areas of London, cannot be allowed to take hold in Derry.

“There has been an increase of knife crime in big cities and it’s not something we want to see here. Carrying knives will only lead to convictions, injury and death.

“I would appeal to anyone who has such weapons to dispose of them as no good can come from carrying these lethal knives,” he added.