A man has been found guilty of possessing a machete, despite his claims he was only preventing other people from getting hurt.
Today (Wednesday), Edward Kirby, 27, of Britannia Road, Banbury, appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court after having been arrested for possessing a knife/blade or sharp pointed article in a public place in May this year.
On May 7, police officers were called to Northumberland Court, Duke Street, after reports of Kirby carrying a machete in the communal garden area.
The witness had seen Kirby, in the company of other people, carrying the weapon while having what he perceived being an agitated conversation on his mobile phone and had also spotted the defendant concealing the machete in his trousers.
When officers appeared at the scene they saw Kirby putting the object between a parked car and a wall.
Kirby gave evidence during the trial and the court also heard the evidence of the witness who reported the incident and officers who attended the scene and made the arrest. A transcript of the first interview with the defendant after his arrest was also read out.
Speaking in court, Kirby said following an altercation between other people, who he did not wish to name, he took the machete from one of the persons to prevent anyone from getting hurt.
“I thought I was doing a good deed - but obviously not,” he said.
When Julian Lynch, defending, asked his client why he hid the weapon when police arrived at the scene, he said: “The police came around the corner and I had a machete in my hand, it’s not a good look is it?”
During cross examination, Tristan Driscoll, prosecuting, proceeded to question why Kirby had not immediately told the police what had happened.
Kirby replied: “Because the way they came towards me I don’t think they would have believed my story.”
The court also heard a transcript of the first interview with Kirby, which took place at Banbury Police Station in the early hours of May 8. At that point Kirby claimed he was in the area waiting for a taxi and that he had just found the machete on the ground and wanted to make sure no one was injured, particularly with children usually playing in the area.
When concluding the case, magistrate Frank Smith said: “We did not find on the balance of probabilities that you had a good reason or lawful authority to to be in possession of an offensive weapon.
“The police evidence was consistent and you were evasive in your evidence today which also contradicted your previous interview. You said others were present but you did not call anyone else to give evidence.
“The defence failed to show on a balance of probabilities that you had the item in your possession lawfully and on that basis we find you guilty.”
Kirby is due to be sentenced at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on November 6.