A man caught carrying a cosh in a north town has been jailed for four-and-a-half months by a sheriff who warned that such an offence won’t be tolerated.
Andrew Innes, 32, came to the attention of the police late on the night of January 17, Wick Sheriff Court heard.
Innes failed to respond to the officer’s request to stop and kept on walking towards him.
The constable observed a black handle protruding from Innes’s right trouser pocket and again shouted to him to stop and drew his CS gas spray as a warning.
The accused stopped and identified himself and dropped what turned out to be a cosh which was seized by the officer who placed him under arrest. Innes admitted possession of the cosh in public and a record.
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald told the court that Innes had been living in Thurso and associating with people who “did him more harm than good”.
However, he had since returned to the family home at Simpson Crescent, Helmsdale, and was getting support from his family for drink and drug abuse and had become free of both.
Miss MacDonald said that the cosh incident had been “a wake-up call” for Innes. She appealed for a non-custodial sentence.
However, Sheriff Andrew Berry said that people who carried such weapons in public places, did so on the basis that these could be used.
The sheriff, who handled the cosh at a previous hearing when he described the possession of it in public as “a relatively unusual offence in this community” said yesterday:
“It is a substantial implement which could have caused serious physical harm if used in a confrontation. You didn’t take it with you because you were scared of the dark but for a specific purpose during which it was likely to be used.”
Sheriff Berry added: “The carrying of such weapons cannot be tolerated in the public interest and is viewed seriously by the courts. The sentence has to be a custodial one.”
The cosh was ordered to be forfeit.