Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Darren Day offensive weapon trial starts

Darren Day
Darren Day was appearing in a Queen musical in Edinburgh at the time

Entertainer Darren Day has appeared for the first day of his trial into the possession of an offensive weapon called a kubotan.

Mr Day, 41, denies being in possession of a kubotan in a public place without reasonable excuse or lawful authority.

His appearance follows his arrest in December 2009 when his Mercedes hit a lamp post in Manor Place, Edinburgh.

The trial has been adjourned until 7 April. Sentence on his guilty drink-driving plea was also deferred.

In January this year, Mr Day, of Cudworth, South Yorkshire, admitted drink driving with 58 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath, when the legal limit is 35, and to failing to stop after an accident.

Pleas of not guilty to careless driving, failing to report the accident to the police and not co-operating with an initial breath test were accepted by the prosecution.

Self-defence

The Crown, however, did not accept a not guilty plea to being in possession of an offensive weapon.

Mr Day was given an interim ban from driving and his car was seized by the Crown. It could be forfeited as he has a previous conviction for drink driving.

During the hearing, two martial arts experts from Lothian and Borders Police told Sheriff William Holligan that the kubotan was designed in the 1970s for the Los Angeles Police as a self-defence weapon.

They said it was now widely available in the UK via the Internet and in martial arts shops.

The officers, Sgt Gary Russell and Pc Liam Fitzpatrick, both trainers in officer protection, said the kubotan, nicknamed in the USA as "an attitude adjuster" was used as a close-quarter restraining instrument.

Pc Fitzpatrick admitted that in "the worst case scenario it could kill somebody".

Questioned by defence solicitor Bobby Frazer, the officers said no licence was required to buy a kubotan in this country and that under the Offensive Weapons Scotland Act of 2005 there was no mention of it in a list of offensive weapons.

Mr Frazer claimed that the kubotan was used as a key ring.

Mr Day was starring in the Queen musical "We will Rock You" at the Playhouse Theatre at the time of his arrest.



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SEE ALSO
Darren Day admits drink driving
20 Jan 10 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Darren Day on drink-drive charge
18 Dec 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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