Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man found outside home with hammer and knife 'thought he was under attack', court told

Belfast Magistrates' Court.
Belfast Magistrates' Court.

By Alan Erwin

A 53-year-old man discovered outside his north Belfast home with a claw hammer and a hunting knife feared he was under attack, a court heard has heard.

Andrew Best was given 12 months probation for having the items when police went to the Limestone Road address on June 26.

Best, who entered the dock at Belfast Magistrates' Court using a walking stick, admitted possessing an offensive weapon and a blade in a public place.

A prosecution lawyer said PSNI officers arrived at his home due to concerns for him.

"The defendant was standing outside the property, behind a gate, with a large knife in one hand and a claw hammer in the other," she submitted.

When he was arrested and interviewed Best claimed he was carrying them because of a perceived threat.

He said that he heard someone at the door and lifted the items to protect himself.

Defence solicitor Denis Moloney told the court: "He thought he was under attack."

Pointing out that Best is in breach of a previous suspended sentence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said: "He's then found with two weapons and he could very easily go to immediate custody."

Instead, however, he consented to 12 months on probation.

Judge Bagnall also ordered the destruction of the claw hammer and knife.

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