Man caught with hammer and knife outside arcade

Victoria Arcade, Yarmouth.Picture: Nick Butcher

Victoria Arcade, Yarmouth.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A man who was caught carrying a hammer and a knife told police he had “people after me”, a court has heard.

Stuart Smith, 29, had been picked up on CCTV in the Victoria Arcade, Great Yarmouth.

Police had wanted to speak to him in connection with other matters and he was detained by officers as he left the arcade.

Jane Walker, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates Court on Monday (June 24), said he was asked whether he had any weapons on him.

He said he did and allowed a hammer to fall out of the right sleeve of his hooded top.

Smith was also found to have a knife on him.

He told officers "I've got people after me, this is the reason I'm carrying them."

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He was interviewed by police and accepted he had the items on him. He repeated to officers that he had "people after him", and had received threats of violence and "feared he might be attacked".

Smith, of no fixed abode, had picked up the weapons from a friend's house and had been on his way back to return them when he was caught.

He appeared before magistrates in custody and admitted having a knife and a hammer in Howard Street South, Great Yarmouth, on June 22 this year.

Debbie Reynolds, mitigating, said Smith, who has previous convictions, had been out of trouble since 2015.

She said he had taken the items from a friend and admitted he had them when searched by police.

Miss Reynolds said he was not drunk or on drugs and had was simply returning then.

She added: "He knows it was the wrong thing to do."

Smith was jailed for eight weeks, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge although no other financial penalties were imposed due to his lack of means.

Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the weapons.