Knuckleduster found in taxi after men seen ‘acting suspiciously’

Court news. NNL-170524-154443005
Court news. NNL-170524-154443005

When police checked the inside of a taxi being used by four men who had been reported as acting suspiciously, they found a knuckleduster beneath the seat one of them had been using.

Lathan Paul Middleton, 26, of Kyme Road, Boston, admitted possessing an offensive weapon, when he appeared before magistrates in the town.

Prosecuting, Jim Clare said police were called to Shaw Road in Boston at 4am, on July 6, because of four men seen acting suspiciously.

When they arrived they found the four men in a taxi and, when they searched the passenger area, found the knuckleduster under one of the seats.

Middleton, who has previous convictions for assault, admitted the weapon was his and said he carried it for self protection when he went jogging at night.

The Probation Service said Middleton was on an existing community order imposed in February and that his compliance was ‘quite good’ but he did have ‘issues with temper control’.

In mitigation, Elizabeth Harte said it was Middleton’s first conviction for possessing an offensive weapon, he had not used the knuckleduster to threaten anyone and it had never been used.

“He does feel vulnerable at times,” she said “and has carried this with him, but has never used or produced it and never had cause to do so.”

Ms Harte said she had made him aware a second similar conviction would render him liable to a mandatory prison sentence.

The magistrates imposed a new community order with 25 days of rehabilitation and ordered him to pay £170 in costs and charges.