‘Paranoid’ man had 40-centimetre long baton in Tower Centre

A man caught with an offensive weapon – a baton – which could extend to 40cms – claimed it was for his own defence after previously being assaulted, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.

Ross Cuthbert (25), of Antrim Road in Ballymena, had the baton at the Tower Centre on June 28 this year.

He was also found to be in possession of two bags of cannabis worth £40.

The defendant told police he was dependent on cannabis.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said Cuthbert suffered from depression, anxiety and paranoia and he used cannabis to supplement prescription medication.

District Judge Peter King said a pre-sentence report did not “make happy reading” as he handed down a one month prison term, suspended for a year.

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