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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Baton charge racing boss cleared
A businessman who had a baton and penknife in his car when he was stopped in a random anti-terrorist squad search has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Finance boss Nicholas Samengo-Turner, 50, of Hundon, Suffolk, was arrested in London on the way to a Formula One racing team takeover meeting.

He said he confiscated the baton from his children and forgot about it.

He was cleared at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday of having an offensive weapon and a blade in a public place.

It has been a nightmare ordeal for me and my family
Nicholas Samengo-Turner

Former banker and Coldstream Guardsman Mr Samengo-Turner said his case could easily have been dealt with by way of a caution when instead, the public purse had been left with a bill of tens of thousands of pounds.

"It has been a nightmare ordeal for me and my family. It was always said in the Army there is no such thing as bad soldiers, simply bad officers," he said.

"This case ... highlights the poor quality of command and leadership in the police force."

Eddie Jordan's team

During the three-day hearing the court was told he had been on his way to clinch a deal to take over Eddie Jordan's Formula One racing team, which later fell through, when he was stopped in a random search on the Victoria Embankment.

He was pulled over in the so-called "high risk Government zone" outside the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Samengo-Turner said he bought the baton through the internet because of concerns about late-night prowlers at the family home.

He took the baton off his girls when he found them playing with it then forgot it was in his briefcase until police stopped him. He carried the Victorinox "multipurpose tool" to open post and used it when he cooked.


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