Knuckle duster leads to court

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A 21-year-old man convicted of having a knuckle duster in his possession was given 120 hours community service last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was Dawid Marszalek, Wayside, Tandragee.

He was charged with possession of an offensive weapon at Bridge Street, Portadown, on November 14 and unlawful possession of cannabis.

He had contested the possession of an offensive weapon at a previous court and the case adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said that it was a hopeless contest because there was never any form of reasonable excuse for possessing a knuckle duster.

A barrister representing the defendant said he had been the victim of an assault immediately preceding this incident.

He added that Marszalek was in employment and the probation report assessed him as a low risk of re-offending.

Judge Kelly said that if the defendant had pleaded guilty with no record he would have been looking at a fine but with a contest he was facing a potential custodial sentence which made no sense to her.

She imposed 120 hours community service in respect of both of the charges.