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Martial arts expert caught with baton and knives said family was under threat

He was fined €700 at Dublin District Court for weapons charges.

Andrei Moraru admitted unlawful possession of the baton

Andrew Phelan

A MARTIAL arts enthusiast caught carrying a baton in his car had it for self-defence after a group of youths threatened his family, a court has heard.

Andrei Moraru (36), a tradesman, also had three knives and although he insisted these were for his job, a judge said this was “not a good enough excuse”. He was fined €700 at Dublin District Court for weapons charges.

Moraru, of The Glen, Lower Glenageary Road in Dún Laoghaire, admitted unlawful possession of the baton but denied that the knives were weapons.

A garda told Judge Treasa Kelly he stopped a Mercedes driven by the accused at Clarendon Street and, in a search, found a retractable baton in the driver’s door.

Two folding knives were in the centre console and a multi-tool with two sharp blades was in the boot.

The accused told the court he used the knives for his work in insulation, to cut materials.

Judge Kelly said having the knives seemed “excessive”.

The accused had no previous convictions.

In relation to the baton, defence solicitor Matthew Kenny said shortly before the incident, Moraru had stopped youths who were causing a disturbance on his street.

They threatened him and his family and he “got scared” and had the baton in his car “should they return”.

He accepted this was not a good reason or lawful excuse for having it, Mr Kenny said.

The judge said if the accused had a difficulty with someone, he could not take it that he was the person to sort it out.

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