Exmouth man found with war hammer given curfew

PUBLISHED: 12:30 28 January 2016

Exeter Magistrates' Court

Exeter Magistrates' Court

Archant

An Exmouth man, who was arrested after being found with a 13th century war hammer in the town centre, has been found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon in public.

Christopher Potts, also known as Chris Andrew, 47, of The Strand, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

He said he had the war hammer on him because his friend Ricky McIlveen, who he knew as ‘Bam’, had phoned him on September 6, 2015, to ask him to help dismantle a wooden wardrobe.

Potts told the court he was picked up in a van and taken to Mr McIlveen’s mother’s house, in Windsor Square, where they destroyed the furniture before he was returned home.

Potts was given a community order requiring him to observe a curfew between 8pm and 8am every day for the next two months.

The war hammer was also forfeited and he was ordered to pay £250 court costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Arresting officer James Labib told the court how police had been called at around 5.30pm to reports of a suspected break-in in progress.The court heard how a member of the public had told the police that they had a seen a man running away from Manchester Road towards the train station armed with what appeared to be a baseball bat before getting into a white van.

When Potts returned to his home, he was arrested after being seen with what appeared to be a baseball bat wrapped in a black plastic bag.

The court heard how the weapon, which had been bought as a birthday treat for around £125, had a 20 centimetre handle with a cross-shaped bar. There was also a claw hammer in the plastic bag.

Chairman of the bench sitting at Exeter Magistrates’ Court, Fiona Williams, said: “We have listened very carefully. We have received the evidence. The bench found the evidence of the defendant to be weak and inconsistent and we don’t accept there was a reasonable excuse for possession of this war hammer.”


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