A DISTRICT Court Judge agreed with a garda sergeant that it was ‘hard to swallow’ that a motorist had a knuckle duster as an ‘accessory’ in his car and queried if he planned to wear it around his neck or on his hand.
Judge John King was agreeing with Sgt Paul Kelly during the prosecution against Ricardos Noscius of 2 The Quays, Skibbereen at Clonakilty District Court this week.
Mr Noscius pleaded guilty to the possession of a knuckle duster contrary to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.
Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on November 22nd last gardaí had been operating a checkpoint at Farnahoe, Innishannon when they came across the defendant in his car.
‘Gda Robin Joe suspected there may be drugs in the car and while carrying out a search of the car he found a knuckle duster, which the defendant admitted ownership after caution,’ said Sgt Kelly.
Defence solicitor Eamonn Fleming said his client bought the knuckle duster as an ‘accessory’ but Judge King asked if Mr Noscius had planned to wear it around his neck or on his hand.
Mr Fleming said his client had the knuckle duster hanging from the mirror in his car.
‘It was hammering away on the windscreen of his car so he put it into the glove compartment of the car. He certainly made a wrong accessory choice and he paid €25 for it online,’ said Mr Fleming.
‘It is an offensive weapon and we’re not looking for it back and he did admit ownership straight away and there was nothing sinister on my client’s intention with it,’ he added.
Mr Fleming said his client works as a tyre fitter and is originally from Lithuania and was hoping to avoid a criminal conviction.
The court heard that the defendant has five previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences.
However, Sgt Kelly said a knuckle duster is ‘not a normal accessory’ that a motorist would have and he found it hard to swallow.
Judge King agreed and convicted and fined him €250 and gave him two months to pay the fine. Recognisance for an appeal was fixed in the defendant’s own bond of €200 and a destruction order was granted for the knuckle duster.