A JUDGE said members of the public must have been terrified when it emerged a man was in possession of a Samurai Sword outside a McDonald’s Restaurant.
Darren Hayes (23), of Patrick Place in Ballymena, appeared at the town’s Magistrates Court on Thursday and was ordered to do 100 hours of Community Service after previously admitting a charge of possessing an article with a blade in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.
A prosecutor said police received a 999 call on July 13 this year that a male was outside the McDonald’s Restaurant at the Pentagon Retail Park with a Samurai Sword “down his trousers”.
The prosecutor said before police arrived a member of the public took the sword from Hayes and gave it to McDonald’s staff for safe-keeping.
Police found the defendant in the vicinity of the restaurant.
Defence solicitor John McAtamney said it was an “alcohol-fuelled” incident which was “out of character” for the defendant whose partner is expecting.
The lawyer added: “Thankfully, nobody was injured. There was no suggestion that he attempted to injure anybody”.
Mr McAtamney said the defendant is now off alcohol.
Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said people present must have been “absolutely terrified, until the issue was resolved, that they would have been attacked”.
Handing down a Community Service Order the judge said the defendant “needs some focus and some structure”.