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Cyclist said he had been pushed off his bike by youths; recieved suspended sentence for offensive weapons

A cyclist who was hit by a car was found to be carrying an arsenal of weapons including a knife, an air gun, and nunchucks - which he said were protection against ongoing harassment from youths.

David Best, 64, had a loaded airgun, lock knife and a set of nunchucks on his body when he was picked up by police with serious injuries in a collision with a car.

According to the Essex Chronicle, he told Chelmsford Magistrates' Court he needed the weapons for his own protection as he had been pushed off his bike before and youths had harassed him.

He pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and one count of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place.

He received two 18 week jail terms on each count, both suspended for 12 months.

Defending, Julie Brimble said: “Mr Best didn’t realise that it was such a serious matter.”

Chairman of the bench, Rodrick Law said: “We feel that to send you to prison today would have not been in the interest of justice.”

Best was fined an £80 victim surcharge and £40 prosecution costs.

On the subject of offensive weapons, just this week we reported how helmet camera footage of a driver twice brake-checking a cyclist in Glasgow resulted in the motorist, who turned out to be serving a driving ban, being convicted on four separate charges – dangerous driving, breach of the peace, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

The driver, who pleaded guilty in the face of the video evidence, was fined £375, banned from driving for 48 weeks and ordered to perform 150 hours of community payback.

And in a similar sentencing result, in 2010 we reported how a teenage driver who repeatedly tried to run a cyclist off the road was told by a judge sentencing him to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, that he had made a “bit of an unfortunate choice of victim” – an off duty senior police officer. Even so, the judge only gave him a suspended prison sentence.

Detective Inspector Martin Melvin had been cycling home from Burnley police station last July when 18-year-old Benjamin Harrison, who lives in the town, pulled alongside him and started beeping his horn, shaking his fist and shouting, “Get off the road. I will run you off the road. I will kill you. Get off the road.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

28 comments

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cidermart [496 posts] 3 years ago
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Seems like the scales of justice are balanced after all. Ah now hold up sorry been drinking all night and just got home.

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 3 years ago
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A bit of an odd collection - I find carrying a few feet of heavy chain with a padlock on the end all the re-assurance I need - just make sure you know how to use it or you'll just end up hurting yourself

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Paul_C [496 posts] 3 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:

A bit of an odd collection - I find carrying a few feet of heavy chain with a padlock on the end all the re-assurance I need - just make sure you know how to use it or you'll just end up hurting yourself

those Hiplok locks that you wear round your waist as a belt are a very nice item to improvise with...

http://hiplok.com/bike-locks/hiplok-v150

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Argos74 [434 posts] 3 years ago
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If he was a young person in a hooded sweatshirt walking down the street, we'd all be saying, meh, lock him up and throw away the key. If the same person was driving a BMW with an attitude problem, locked up in a rat-infested pit, and the key melted down. Lord knows what we'd suggest for a tipper truck driver... gently lowered into a paddling pool filled with hungry piranha maybe?

Mode of transport doesn't excuse the fact he's been wandering around with kit specifically designed to cause damage to people, and he's got off very, very lightly. He's been a silly sod, probably causing more danger to himself than anyone else, and been given a jolly good spanking for it. Move on. But let's return to this...

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A cyclist who was hit by a car

... wait what?

Quote:

was picked up by police with serious injuries in a collision with a car.

Amidst all the trees, I think I can see a wood here. And not of the golfing variety.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1568 posts] 3 years ago
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Argos74 wrote:

If he was a young person in a hooded sweatshirt walking down the street, we'd all be saying, meh, lock him up and throw away the key. If the same person was driving a BMW with an attitude problem, locked up in a rat-infested pit, and the key melted down. Lord knows what we'd suggest for a tipper truck driver... gently lowered into a paddling pool filled with hungry piranha maybe?

I don't see where you get your first statement there from. I can only say, no, I wouldn't be saying that.

And of course the big problem is we allow large numbers of people to wield weapons in public places on a habitual basis and do very little to ensure they do so responsibly by having a licensing system that actually means anything.

But this story really doesn't seem to be specifically a cycling one.

Pedestrians do often carry weapons - youths carrying knives being a specific anxiety at the moment (my view is that there's an over-emphasis on the idea that kids stab people because they just happened to have a knife on them in a moment of anger, when in an awful lot of cases the stabber specifically went home and got a knife precisely because they'd already decided to stab someone, so cracking down on carrying knives habitually might not make as much difference to the incidence of stabbings as is hoped).

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OldnSlo [137 posts] 3 years ago
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Silly boy. From my martial arts days a long key fob, plastic, alu (or preferably carbon) can be useful in the right hands. And only for self defense.
- yes, you shouldn't need to
- but idiots are idiots - which works both ways.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago
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I was once spoken to by the Police for having within easy reach in my works van a knife with a 6cm blade. The knife was only sat on the dash because I had forgotten to put it away after cutting a length of string. I was threatened with all sorts of consequences for carrying an offensive weapon.

I pointed out that also within easy reach there was 2 x 56mm open ended spanners 40cm long and weighing 1.5kg each, a Strongarm and a 36" Roughneck Gorilla Bar.

With a completely straight face and no hint of irony he stated that they were tools whereas the knife was clearly offensive and that my intentions were irrelevant. He seized the knife.

I make no further comment and leave it to you to take what lessons you will from this tale.

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picko [70 posts] 3 years ago
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"...one count of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place."
Is this a real charge? You should see my nose - can't believe I haven't been arrested yet.

So what happened to the driver who knocked this gent off his bike, leaving him with serious injuries?

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movingtarget [144 posts] 3 years ago
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I live in the US where it is our NRA-lobbyist-given right to carry a cncealed gun into hospitals (?!) so no, carrying a weapon around isn't going to make you or the people around you safer. Unless you've got adequate training on using a weapon, be it a knife or even a chain, you're more likely to either injure yourself or have it taken from you and used against you by your attacker. Also, when push comes to shove, most people freeze in confrontations and are unable to take advantage of attack lines as the psychological willingness to hurt someone face to face is not something most of us possess in that split second between attack and defense. It's harsh, but just because you were abused in the past does not justify "paying it forward" and abusing others. Sorry.

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arfa [847 posts] 3 years ago
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Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Sorry, going out "tooled up" is a bad idea end of story.
We're mostly lucky in the UK that we don't live in a gun/weapon ruled society and long may that remain.
For all the bravado, every single person I have met "who can look after himself" always advocate avoiding confrontation rather than squaring up to it. Sometimes you have no choice but that is the exception, not the rule.

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Cyclist [295 posts] 3 years ago
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arfa wrote:

We're mostly lucky in the UK that we don't live in a gun/weapon ruled society and long

I take it you live in the Cotswolds?? You have obviously never been to Nottingham!

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Stumps [3460 posts] 3 years ago
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I have no sympathy with the guy, as for his defence saying he didn't realise it was such a serious matter, get real its always ok to carry knives and a loaded weapon in public.

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shay cycles [381 posts] 3 years ago
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Bloke gets caught carrying weapons and gets off very lightly.

He was on a bike which proves that idiots can travel by all modes.

Hopefully he's learned his lesson and will stop carrying weapons.

This isn't really a cycling story is it?

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allez neg [496 posts] 3 years ago
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Hopefully, if his defence was that the weapons were for self defence then he'd have the reported previous incidents(that led to him feeling at risk) to plod.

Like other comments here, if you feel like you need to carry something just in case, then carry something with a plausible legitimate use as a reasonable excuse for possessing such item - make the defence of "instant arming" more believable.

I personally stick a large truncheon down the front of my lycra shorts whenever I go cycling, not out of fear for my safety, just to impress the girls.

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turboprannet [224 posts] 3 years ago
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Cyclist wrote:
arfa wrote:

We're mostly lucky in the UK that we don't live in a gun/weapon ruled society and long

I take it you live in the Cotswolds?? You have obviously never been to Nottingham!

the Cotswolds? everyone and their mums are packing around there!

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FluffyKittenofT... [1568 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

I have no sympathy with the guy, as for his defence saying he didn't realise it was such a serious matter, get real its always ok to carry knives and a loaded weapon in public.

Some mistake there, surely?
Did you mean to tell me its "always OK to carry knives and a loaded weapon in public"?  1

Sounds to me like the guy was an idiot and the penalty he received was probably roughly about right. Its not right but unfortunately it's not exactly unknown for people to carry weapons in public. Unless its clear they were doing so with a very real plan of using them for attacking someone then I don't think just carrying them is morally or legally on-a-par with actually using them.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago
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He pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and one count of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place.

Better not let Granny go and knit on the park bench in the sun then.  19

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OldRidgeback [2746 posts] 3 years ago
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I've lived in an 'interesting' area for many years now and have never found the need to carry a weapon. It's maybe not what it was now but it's somewhere I know people used to avoid in the past. And I've lived overseas in a place that would terrify a lot of people. I didn't carry a weapon there either.

What I've learned, and it's not so special a piece of wisdom, is that if you go out looking for trouble you're likely to find it. My old karate teacher used to say how martial arts gave you the awareness to avoid trouble most of the time. If you're carrying a weapon you're part of the problem, not the solution.

This chap was lucky not to get a more serious penalty. The judge made a good call.

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Stumps [3460 posts] 3 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
stumps wrote:

I have no sympathy with the guy, as for his defence saying he didn't realise it was such a serious matter, get real its always ok to carry knives and a loaded weapon in public.

Some mistake there, surely?
Did you mean to tell me its "always OK to carry knives and a loaded weapon in public"?  1

Sounds to me like the guy was an idiot and the penalty he received was probably roughly about right. Its not right but unfortunately it's not exactly unknown for people to carry weapons in public. Unless its clear they were doing so with a very real plan of using them for attacking someone then I don't think just carrying them is morally or legally on-a-par with actually using them.

lol, your right. I was trying to be sarcastic mate.  40

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qwerky [183 posts] 3 years ago
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Does anyone know what is the legal status of pepper spray in the UK? Tooling up with knifes/nunchucks/airguns is clearly stupid, but I could totally understand someone having a pepper spray in their jersey pocket - especially if they'd previously been a victim of a violent attack.

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OldRidgeback [2746 posts] 3 years ago
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qwerky wrote:

Does anyone know what is the legal status of pepper spray in the UK? Tooling up with knifes/nunchucks/airguns is clearly stupid, but I could totally understand someone having a pepper spray in their jersey pocket - especially if they'd previously been a victim of a violent attack.

Offensive weapon, as I'm pretty sure our cycling cops can confirm.

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fullers1979 [58 posts] 3 years ago
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Potential firearms offence. Depends on the pressurisation of the canister. Some can fall under s5 firearms act, however offensive weapon is a possibility. It's worth noting that claiming self defence is much harder if you've got something like that on your person. Shows that you have 'prepared' yourself and therefore are expecting to use it. Besides the effectiveness of pepper style sprays is very sketchy! Trust me, I know!!

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Ush [887 posts] 3 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

I make no further comment and leave it to you to take what lessons you will from this tale.

If blood could boil there would be steam coming out my ears. I note that the actual offence mentioned in the article was

Quote:

one count of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place.

W.T.F.?

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Stumps [3460 posts] 3 years ago
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Ush wrote:
levermonkey wrote:

I make no further comment and leave it to you to take what lessons you will from this tale.

If blood could boil there would be steam coming out my ears. I note that the actual offence mentioned in the article was

Quote:

one count of possessing a sharp pointed article in a public place.

W.T.F.?

Its to cover the likes of screwdrivers, letter openers etc even kebab skewers, not just knives.

Also in responce to an earlier comment, if you get caught carrying pepper spray you will get lifted.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1568 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

lol, your right. I was trying to be sarcastic mate.  40

Oops! My mistake. There needs to be a special 'sarcasm font', I reckon. Maybe Comic Sans.

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northstar [1107 posts] 3 years ago
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.

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PhilRuss [391 posts] 3 years ago
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[[[[[ While we're fantasizing about weaponizing ourselves, I saw a piece in a local rag about a geezer emerging from a shop with his fish'n'chips in a bag, and four young plonkers stopped him and demanded money---with menaces. The hungry chap, (a Scot, I believe), turns out to be a multi-Martial Arts blackbelt holder, and he kept kicking them all in the kneecaps until they got the picture and hobbled off into the sunset, not a penny richer, but hopefully a bit wiser.
Since perusing the story, I confess to having mused about a pair of cycling shoes with steel toecaps---and in case any of you cycling cops are thinking of "cautioning" me, these protective daisyroots would be a defence against motorists driving over me toes, seeing as I always put me RIGHT foot down when stopping at traffic lights, and several drivers over the years--even a bus--have come way too close for comfort, and I need my toes for balance, see?
What't that TV prog called? Oh yeah, Dragons' Den.....
P.R.

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PhilRuss [391 posts] 3 years ago
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PhilRuss wrote:

[[[[[ While we're fantasizing about weaponizing ourselves, I saw a piece in a local rag about a geezer emerging from a shop with his fish'n'chips in a bag, and four young plonkers stopped him and demanded money---with menaces. The hungry chap, (a Scot, I believe), turns out to be a multi-Martial Arts blackbelt holder, and he kept kicking them all in the kneecaps until they got the picture and hobbled off into the sunset, not a penny richer, but hopefully a bit wiser.
Since perusing the story, I confess to having mused about a pair of cycling shoes with steel toecaps---and in case any of you cycling cops are thinking of "cautioning" me, these protective daisyroots would be a defence against motorists driving over me toes, seeing as I always put me RIGHT foot down when stopping at traffic lights, and several drivers over the years--even a bus--have come way too close for comfort, and I need my toes for balance, see?
What't that TV prog called? Oh yeah, Dragons' Den.....
P.R.

[[[[[[ I forgot to mention--his fish 'n' chips survived, and probably tasted all the better for the experience!
P.R.