A MAN caught by police at a railway station with a carving knife in his backpack, claimed he was on his way to his mothers for a barbecue.

Lee Fitzpatrick, 27, of Mayflower Road, Chafford Hundred, Grays had denied unlawful possession of a knife in a public place when he appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Police were called to Chafford Hundred station on June 21, after passengers reported a drunken man at the station with a knife.

Officers arrived and found Fitzpatrick asleep on a bench with a 10ins kitchen knife poking out of his bag.

Officers woke him and arrested him.

Fitzpatrick told them he had been on his way to a barbecue at his mother’s house and she had asked him to bring the blade to chop up food.

Fitzpatrick is next due to appear at Basildon Crown Court early in October, to make a formal plea and to set a date for a trial. In the meantime, he was released on unconditional bail.