Police received reports of ‘large groups of youths gathering’ some of whom reportedly were carrying offensive weapons

Police located a man with a flick baton at a car park at John Street in Randalstown. General picture of area from Google Maps.

POLICE received reports that large groups of youths gathered in Randalstown with some carrying offensive weapons, a court has heard.

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court as James Murray (20), of Brookhill, Randalstown, admitted charges of having an offensive weapon – a flick baton – at the car park at John Street on November 28 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis worth “£120”.

A prosecutor said police received several reports of “large groups of youths gathering in the Randalstown area,” some reportedly carrying offensive weapons.

At around 8.30pm saw two males, one of who appeared to be carrying something, and when stopped at John Street and searched he was unsteady on his feet.

A metal flick baton was seized from the defendant and police believed he was still trying to hide something in his coat pocket.

Officers found a small bag of herbal cannabis and another bag of cannabis in another pocket.

During a search of his home a further bag of cannabis was found in his bedroom.

The defendant told the police he had the baton “for his protection” and took cannabis for pain relief following a car accident

A defence lawyer said the defendant, who had a previously clear record, “had never been in trouble before with the police”.

The lawyer said full admissions were made and the defendant accepted carrying the baton was a foolish thing to do.

The defendant was fined £350.

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