A Sheriff had to decide when is a knuckleduster not a knuckleduster after a trial at Inverness Sheriff Court on Thursday.
And the answer was – when it is attached to a set of keys.
Leonard Davidson, a 35 year old of Benula Road, Inverness had spent a month in custody after denying possessing an offensive weapon in Springfield Gardens, Inverness, on March 18 this year.
Davidson had been in breach of a bail condition not to enter the street and police arrested him when they saw him there. A routine search was carried out and officers found a heavy brass object with a hole in the middle attached to his bunch of keys.
Fiscal depute David Morton argued that it was a knuckleduster.
He told Sheriff David Sutherland: “There’s a saying if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it is a duck. This is a single finger knuckleduster. It is solid brass, has a hole in the middle, large enough for the middle finger to go through and it sits comfortably on the knuckle.
“But it is up to the court to decide if it is.” Mr Morton added.
Defence solicitor advocate, Neil Wilson said: “There must be some doubt that this is a knuckleduster or a key fob. He gave that explanation what it was at the time. It was attached to a set of keys.”
Sheriff Sutherland retired to consider his verdict and when he returned, he told Davidson he was not guilty.
“Given that there was a set of keys below the item, I am not satisfied that the Crown have proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Davidson had previously pleaded guilty to the bail breach. Sheriff Sutherland admonished him since Davidson had been on remand since March 19 awaiting trial and his last offence was in 2012.