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Career criminal Man with 91 convictions came to court armed with a metal baton

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Stefan Ralston

Stefan Ralston

Stefan Ralston

This is the career criminal who brought a five-foot extendable baton to court – then fled on his push bike when caught.

Stefan Ralston was appearing at Antrim Courthouse in February on a drug charge when security staff discovered he’d brought a folded-up baton with him.

Having been rumbled, Ralston – who it emerged has a shocking record of 91 previous convictions – made off on his bicycle.

This week the 30-year-old from Cavalier Court in Antrim appeared at the same court and admitted possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

He was jailed for five months but the sentence was suspended for 18 months.

A prosecutor told the court during the bizarre incident Ralston had been asked to empty his pockets as he went through the courthouse’s security hut.

He pulled the metal stick and told security staff it was for martial arts which was described as a ‘Bo Staff’ which could extend to five feet long.

After making off in comical fashion across a car park on his push bike, Ralston was arrested and admitted having the stick.

He told police he had “ordered it from a website and had it delivered that morning and after putting it in his pocket he had forgotten it was there”.

Ralston claimed just afterwards he got a call from his solicitor telling him to be in court and he went straight there on his bike – forgetting the weapon was still in his jacket.

Ralston has a fearsome reputation around Antrim and sources have told the Sunday World he’s a “complete menace”.

“He’s a hood who’s made the lives of people round here a misery, he’s a complete menace,” said one source.

Ralston was attending court to face a drug charge after police had gone to a house in October 2019 after a disturbance was reported.

He was searched and 12 pregabalin tablets and six diazepam pills were found which Ralston said he’d bought from an undisclosed source.

His defence barrister told the court Ralston had “some sort of odd curiosity” with the fold-up baton stick but pointed out he hadn’t been brandishing it that he hadn’t brought it to court with the intention of harming anyone.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had a very poor record and promptly handed him the five-month suspended sentence.

Ralston has been in and out of prison over the last ten years.

Last year he was caught with the Class C drug Xanax in a police cell and was jailed for two months.

His barrister said at the time Ralston had struggled with addictions.

In November 2018 Ralston was jailed for 11 months for a number of serious offences including counterfeiting with intent to use, possession of Class C drugs and a string of driving offences.

  • steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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