A BARNSLEY man caught carrying a Samurai sword was holding it for ‘self-defence’ while looking after his young niece, a court heard.
Frightened members of the public alerted police after Sean Banner was seen with the weapon at the Jet petrol station in Burton Road, Barnsley, on the night of August 24.
Officers rushed to the scene and found the drunk 39-year-old in a nearby takeaway - with the sword and his six-year-old niece in tow.
Banner was said to be unsteady on his feet as police approached him, noticing a bulge in the back of his clothing.
He was arrested and searched and the weapon was recovered.
Lisa Gallagher, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said: “The weapon had a black metal handle and cover and was found down the back of his trousers.
“He said that he had carried it while his niece was with him due to a previous incident involving a friend a matter of weeks earlier.
“He said the sword belonged to him but he had taken it from his friend’s allotment and was carrying it in case he came across any ‘idiots’.
“The defendant told police the sword was just for show and he was not going to use it.”
Banner, of Pleasant View, Cudworth, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon at Barnsley Magistrates Court earlier this month.
He appeared at Sheffield Crown Court for sentence.
Banner, representing himself, said: “It was a stupid thing I did but I am being threatened at the moment.”
When asked why he had failed to attend appointments as part of an alcohol treatment programme the court had previously imposed, Banner said: “I suffer from insomnia.
“I only sleep 10 hours a week. Sometimes I stay up for days and then other times I can sleep right through. I told the probation that I’d go to the appointment - if I was awake.”
Banner was given a community order with a six-month supervision requirement.
Judge Graham Hyland QC ordered the destruction of the sword.