Armed police ‘pointed guns at man’s head’ during samurai sword incident

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A man told a court how armed police wrestled him to the floor and pointed their guns at his head after he was seen carrying a samurai sword in the street.

Magistrates were told there was ‘quite a commotion’ in Church Street, Hartlepool, as armed officers and dog handlers rushed to the scene.

Sean Doherty stood trial following his arrest after an off-duty special constable allegedly saw him brandish the sword in Church Street in Hartlepool.

Docherty said the sword was in its holster for the short time he carried it from a friend’s flat in Church Street to his flat in the same street.

He said he bought the sword for £10 and added: “Next thing I know the police are knocking at my door, and four of them pushed me to the floor. I’d never seen a gun before, it was very frightening having four guns pointed at my head.”

Doherty, of Church Street, denied possessing a bladed article in the street without lawful authority on February 19.

Prosecutor Sean Ell said it was alleged Mr Doherty had removed the sword from its holster a few metres before reaching his front door, which he denied.

Magistrates found Mr Doherty not guilty.