History buff claimed he bought Nazi knife as present to himself
A young man caught carrying a replica Nazi officer's knife in his bag bought it as "a present to himself", a court was told.
History buff Ross Malone (25) had the 10-inch ceremonial blade in his backpack when gardai saw him acting suspiciously in Dublin city centre.
Malone, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a knife in Cole's Lane in the north city centre last November 20.
Dublin District Court heard he was seen acting suspiciously in the Ilac Shopping Centre at 7.40am.
When stopped by gardai, Malone voluntarily told them he had the World War Two knife in his backpack.
A photo of the knife - described as a 10-inch replica Nazi officer's ceremonial blade - was presented to the court.
"Why is it not hanging on a wall rather than being carried around in a backpack?" Judge David Waters asked.
Defence barrister Donal Pattison said his client had bought the knife for himself and could not leave it in the Dublin hostel where he was living.
Malone, who was originally from Renmore in Galway, had been living in Ennis, Co Clare before moving to Dublin.
He had done a post-Leaving Certificate course in art and hoped to find work abroad.
There was a history connected to the knife, Mr Pattison told the court, and when Malone saw it, he "took a fancy to it".
"He is interested in history and philosophy and this was essentially a present to himself," he said.
The accused, who had spent time in custody after his arrest, had learnt his lesson, said Mr Pattison.
Judge David Waters said that Malone, who had previous convictions, had been caught with a knife on three occasions.
He had learnt his lesson because he had been caught, the judge said.
Judge Waters told the court he was considering sentencing Malone to three months in jail.
Mr Pattison asked the judge to instead adjourn the case for a probation report, saying there were "underlying issues".
The judge granted bail and said the report should address the accused's suitability for community service.
He said he might consider a non-custodial sentence depending on the report.