A PROLIFIC crook caught with a knuckleduster claimed he had bought it as a “curiosity” as he was a collector, a court heard.
Brian Hedgecock, who has more than 100 criminal convictions, had ornamental knives at his home, people in Nelson knew he liked such things and he had just bought the knuckleduster for £7, Pennine magistrates were told.
Hedgecock (38), of Walter Street, Brierfield, had admitted possessing an offensive weapon and possessing cannabis. The defendant, currently facing recall proceedings from a jail term and also in breach of a suspended prison sentence, was locked up for 18 weeks.
Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) said Hedgecock was seen in Manchester Road, Nelson, by a police officer, who asked to search him.
The defendant appeared nervous, fumbled with his waistband and threw something over a hedge on to the railway embankment. He was arrested, searched and found to have drugs on him. The brass knuckleduster was discovered when the area was searched.
Mr Robinson said, in 2009, the defendant was sent to prison for four years for burglary and drugs offences and was on licence. On October 4th, he had been given 12 weeks in custody, suspended for a year, with a drugs programme, for drugs offences and possessing a blade.
Mr Lee Hammond, for Hedgecock, said he was facing recall. He might be recalled for 28 days or for the whole of the rest of the sentence, but it would not be known until the probation service had submitted a file to the Home Office.
The blade he was given the suspended term for had not been his. It had been in the lining of a coat and he had someone else’s coat on.
Mr Hammond said Hedgecock had been to the probation service on December 2nd, when he bumped onto someone he knew. The defendant collected weapons and ornamental knives and he bought the knuckleduster for £7.
The solicitor continued: “He was just simply walking back towards his home with his dog when he was stopped by police and found to be in possession of this item. He bought it as a curiosity. It’s more or less what he does. He does collect items like that.”