A HOMELESS man who was caught carrying a knife has been failed by society, his solicitor says.

Philip Kyte, 30, was arrested in Workington town centre just days after being released from jail for a similar offence.

He pleaded guilty at North and West Cumbria Magistrates' Court in Carlisle.

But Mark Shepherd, defending, said he had left prison with no money, job, home, support or prospects - resulting in him reoffending.

"This is a very sad situation. He's fallen through the cracks. You might take the view that society has failed him," he explained.

"You'd like to think he could emerge from his sentence with some prospects, but he's living homeless in doorways, which is why he came to the attention of police.

"It's all linked to accommodation. That's a major problem for society. This is a man just 30 years of age. He has no family in this country as they all moved to the USA, no partner and no children.

"He's been told he's not a priority need. He's not important as far as housing is concerned. He has no prospect of obtaining employment or obtaining benefits. He needs an address to get benefits and benefits to get an address.

"He has no medical issues. He's fit and healthy and would be in a position to be a productive member of society."

The court heard that Kyte had been released from prison five days earlier after serving a 16-month sentence, again for possessing a knife.

Mr Shepherd said he was not violent, and the knife was for his own protection - citing recent national attacks on those sleeping rough as the reason for this measure.

"Yes he's got a weapon, but he's very aware of what might happen to homeless people sleeping on the streets. That's why he had a knife," he said.

Magistrates committed the case to Carlisle Crown Court for sentence on May 27. Kyte was remanded in custody.