Man claims he bought machete to clear thorns

Man claims he bought machete to clear thorns

A 21-year-old man accused of carrying a weapon claimed that the machete was something he bought in a hardware shop to chop up an old kennel and to clear thorns in his garden. Picture: iStock

A 21-year-old man accused of carrying a weapon claimed that the machete was something he bought in a hardware shop to chop up an old kennel and to clear thorns in his garden.

Judge Olann Kelleher agreed to the defence submission by solicitor Frank Buttimer to dismiss the charge.

Mr Buttimer argued that nobody could buy something like that in a hardware shop and bring it home to their garden if the gardaí could just come along, seize it, and prosecute a person for carrying a weapon.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said to the accused, Michael Martin of Mount Brosna, Mayfield, “It is accepted you were just after buying it. It is the state’s contention you did not have it for gardening.”

Mr Buttimer said the charge did not specify having the item for an unlawful purpose, and should be dismissed.

Michael Martin had the machete in a bag when gardaí stopped him on the street shortly after purchasing it at Scott’s Tools on North Main Street.

“I was cutting up a dog box — a kennel — chopping it up because we have no dogs,” Martin said.

Asked in court about buying the machete, he said: “I was just doing some shopping in town. We were doing up the house all summer. I had kennels. I was taking them down and chopping them up as firewood.”

Asked by Sergeant Davis why he was using a machete rather than some other gardening implement Michael Martin said, “That is what you use for getting rid of thorn bushes.” Sgt. Davis said, “In a jungle maybe.”

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