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.