Man told police he had baseball bat in his car in Ballymena for his 'own protection due to being a foreign national'

Man told police he had baseball bat in his car in Ballymena for his 'own protection due to being a foreign national'

A MAN told police he had a baseball bat in his car in Ballymena for his own protection "due to being a foreign national".

Details emerged at Ballymena Magistrates Court where Catalin Mizu (30) was sentenced for having an offensive weapon - a baseball bat -  at the town's North Road on November 13 last year.

A prosecutor said police stopped a vehicle at 8.30pm and a baseball bat was "right beside the driver".

The prosecutor said Mizu told the police he "had the bat for his own protection due to be being a foreign national".

A defence barrister said: "There had been a family dispute but also he has been subjected to racial abuse in the past and obviously he felt that this was some sort of deterrent".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Mizu: "You must understand that you can't be driving around with a bat in your car".

The defendant was given a three months prison term, suspended for 18 months.

In another case at the same court in January, the defendant had admitted charges of being concerned in the supply of cannabis; possession of cocaine and cannabis and possession of half a snooker cue and a bat as offensive weapons.

In that case, a prosecutor had said police stopped the defendant in a car at Waveney Road, Ballymena, at 8.25pm on January 11 in 2021.

Officers could smell cannabis and they found 15.4 grammes of cannabis worth around '£150' and four grammes of cocaine worth '£400' along with a wooden bat in the rear of the vehicle and half a snooker cue in the driver side door. His phone was triaged.

When interviewed, the defendant said he bought the drugs.

He told police he carried the weapons "due to previous threats against him".

The defendant admitted he "provided his friends with cannabis".

A defence barrister told the January court the defendant had used cannabis and cocaine and when he purchased cannabis "among friends he would pass it around with them".

At the January court, Judge Broderick had said: "I take a dim view of this driving around with drugs and weapons. There is a sinister element to this".

However, he said at the time of the offence the defendant had a clear record and in January the judge put Mizu on Probation for a year along with 75 hours of Community Service.

  • Main picture: Ballymena Magistrates Court.