Man accused of having ‘gothic horror weapon’

A Derry man has been remanded in custody for possessing what a judge described as a ‘Gothic horror weapon’ namely a claw hammer with nails welded onto it.

Philip Murray (47) of 10, Shearwater Way in Derry appeared at the local Magistrate’s Court charged with possessing the hammer, a two foot long Samurai sword, three assaults resisting police and disorderly behaviour all of which were alleged to have occurred on September 3.

The court was told that police were called to the Lincoln Court area of the Waterside after reports that a man had been tasered.

When they arrived they saw three males fighting on the ground. Murray was observed to be one of them and had the hammer in his hand. The sword was lying nearby.

CS spray was used to break up the fight and a police officer said Murray raised the hammer towards police but was restrained.

He was arrested and later told police he was only defending his home.

When police searched his house they found a collection of machete type knives and a Taser box.

Murray admitted possessing the weapons but said there had been a crowd outside his home and he was defending himself.

The court was told that police believe the incident was connected to an earlier one where Murray’s son was allegedly involved in an incident where a man was Tasered. The son subsequently called his father for assistance.

A defence solicitor Ms Moira Lafferty told the court that Murray claimed that he saw the crowd outside his house and had ‘foolishly’ picked up the items to defend himself and ‘unfortunately’ had not phoned the police although he had no intention of using the weapons.

She said the collection of machete type weapons was due to Murray’s son who collected knives as a hobby. The solicitor said that Murray had found the hammer and was going to dispose of it.

District Judge Barney McElholm asked to see the claw hammer and when he saw it he described it as a ‘Gothic horror weapon’. The judge added: “If there was a crowd of 15 or so outside my house I would phone the police. And if I found a murderous weapon like that I would go straight to the police.”

Stating that he had never seen anything like it before Judge McElholm said whoever had made it did so in order to cause serious injury.

He refused Murray bail on the grounds that he may interfere with witnesses and cause further offences.

Murray was remanded in custody to appear again on September 29.