Hebburn mum fined for keeping baton in side table due to fear of attack

Her solicitor said she had owned the item for a decade but did not know new legislation made it a crime to possess it.
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A South Tyneside mum fearful of being attacked in her own home at night kept an illegal telescopic baton in her bedroom, a court heard.

Kayleigh Gordon’s weapon was found during a police search in Mons Avenue, Hebburn, after her arrest on suspected drugs’ matters.

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Gordon, 34, had owned the item for a decade but did not know new legislation made it a crime even to possess it in private, her solicitor said.

But she committed the offence while subject to a suspended prison sentence, imposed after she carried out an act of affray in London in 2022.

Magistrates fined her £80 but warned they were compelled to inform Newcastle Crown Court about her latest case - and that a judge may decide to act on the suspended sentence.

Prosecutor Holly Clegg told the South Tyneside court: “Police attended the address where the defendant was living and spoke to her.

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“She produced a bag of white powder which she said belonged to her father. She was arrested for possession of drugs offences.

“Police returned to her property later and found the telescopic baton in the defendant’s bedroom. It is an offensive weapon.

“She admitted in interview that she owned the weapon but didn’t know it was an offensive weapon to keep in her property.

“She wasn’t threatening anyone, it was just at her home address. The crown asks for forfeiture and destruction of the baton.”

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Gordon pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of an offensive weapon in a private place on Saturday, January 20.

David Forrester, defending, said police had recently made Gordon aware of a threat to her safety, due to an unrelated matter.

He added: “She says that she has had the baton for a decade when it wasn’t unlawful to have it until about two years ago. Legislation was put in place in 2020 or 2021.

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“The baton was for her own safety, it was consolation to have it in case anyone came into her house at night.”

On top of her fine, Gordon must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge, and the court ordered the baton’s destruction.

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