'Under-threat' man had a knuckle duster
A YOUNG man caught carrying a knuckle duster was under threat at the time and had it for his own protection.
Daryl Smith (23) also had a metal bar in a car when it was stopped by gardai.
Judge William Hamill gave him a six-month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of both weapons.
Dublin District Court heard Smith was stopped at 9.30pm at Park West Avenue, Dublin, on August 18 last year. He told gardai he had the weapons for his own protection in relation to a particular "gentleman".
Smith, with an address at Rathmines Avenue, had been under threat at the time, his solicitor Michael Hanahoe said.
He had one previous conviction, for a public order offence.
"He has no addiction problems, but ran into difficulty with a gentleman who may have," Mr Hanahoe said.
He asked Judge Hamill to take the accused's previous good character into account.
The judge said it was a "serious matter" and the charge carried a maximum prison sentence of 12 months.
He noted that the DPP had consented to the case being dealt with in the district court.
Judge Hamill reduced the sentence to six months and suspended it for two years.