A MAN was arrested after police found a can of CS spray in his pocket, a court was told.
The officers were called to JD Sports in King Street, South Shields, by staff who thought Lee Flynn was acting suspiciously.
When the 29-year-old was searched, they found the canister – which is used by police officers – in his pocket.
Flynn, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon designed for the discharge of a noxious liquid or gas at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “Police were called to JD Sports at 2pm on October 9, after staff said the defendant had been acting suspiciously in the shop. They searched him, and found a canister of CS spray in his jacket pocket.
“He said he had bought it off the internet for £30, and had forgotten it was in his pocket.”
Rachel Mangenie, defending, said: “He didn’t realise it was an offence to have the spray, and can’t explain why he bought it – he just wanted to have it.
“It wasn’t brandished or discharged. The police only searched him because he had been acting suspiciously in the shop.
“It was foolish for him to have it.”
Magistrates gave Flynn a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.