A 52-YEAR-OLD Lye man who was carrying a bag containing a flick knife, a folding knife, a baton and a set of knuckledusters while he was shopping with his wife and daughter at Merry Hill has avoided jail.
Wolverhampton Crown Court judge John Wait told David Foley there was "no good reason" for him being armed with the array of weapons and he added: "This is a worrying case.
"Those who collect weapons and regard them as things of beauty are troubling. It causes great concern because of the possibility they might be used or fall into the wrong hands."
The judge said it was clear Foley was a hard-working family man with no previous convictions and added: "I don't think anyone yet has got to the bottom of why you were collecting these things."
Foley, of Cemetery Road, admitted two charges of possessing an offensive weapon and two of possessing a bladed article and he was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years.
He was further placed on supervision for two years and ordered to obey a four-month curfew order between the hours of 7.30pm and 5am. He was also told to pay £250 costs.
Stephen Hamblett, defending, said Foley had bought a number of the items while spending time in the past in France and he added: "He accepts he had the weapons with him. He knew they were in the bag."
Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, told the court, it was after Foley had been seen holding a Swiss Army knife that his bag was searched and the prohibited weapons were found.
The judge warned Foley they were extremely serious offences which warranted an immediate jail sentence but he ruled he was just able to suspend the inevitable prison term.