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Markethill teenager caught with knuckle dusters and baton bought on holiday in Cyprus

Defendant also caught with two bladed items which he said were for work purposes

Armagh Courthouse

A Markethill teenager found in possession of knives, a baton and knuckle dusters has been fined £300.

Court heard that the 18-year-old had purchased some of the items whilst on holiday in Cyprus.

Samuel Herron, of Ballyvally Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an offensive weapon and two counts of possession of a bladed article at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard that on June 10, at around 8pm, police stopped the defendant driving a Volkswagen car on the Gosford Road.

As officers spoke to Herron they noted that he looked nervous and his hand was shaking.

They watched as the defendant attempted to hide something in the footwell of the car.

Police decided to perform a search of the vehicle.

Court heard that a baton and knuckle dusters were found under the rear seat.

An orange Stanley knife and a lock knife were found in the side pockets of the vehicle.

When interviewed, Herron said that the baton and knuckle dusters had been bought whilst he was on holiday, adding that he simply kept them in the car.

The bladed articles he claimed were used to cut open bags of sawdust. The defendant said he had simply forgotten to put them into his work bag.

Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated: “Mr Herron stands by the explanations. He had been working ad hoc with a farmer and had forgotten the knives were in the car.

“The more sinister items had been purchased in Cyprus some years ago on a wedding holiday.”

Mr Coulter said: “These items are down to youthful misadventure and they were not perceived as being used for anything sinister.”

Court heard that Herron was currently attending Southern Regional College where he is taking a welding course.

Mr Coulter added: “I do not believe that Mr Herron will be before the court again and I know that this will be a salutary lesson.”

Deputy District Judge Peter King stated: “The last place you need to be is before a court. There does lie a question in why you were interested in these items and how you got them into Northern Ireland. This is your first offence.”

Herron was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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