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Driver jailed over samurai sword found in car boot

A BANNED driver who had a samurai sword in his boot was unable to give gardai a valid excuse for having it, a court heard.

Paul Hayden (20) was sentenced to eight months in prison, after he also admitted to driving without insurance. He was stopped twice in 24 hours by gardai.

Hayden, of Grange Abbey Grove, Donaghmede, admitted before Swords District Court to possession of a dangerous weapon.

Garda Declan Fitzgerald said he was on mobile patrol on Belcamp Green in Coolock on March 9, 2009 when he saw Hayden sitting in a car.

Gda Fitzgerald said he searched Hayden under the Misuse of Drugs Act as he appeared agitated. He found the samurai sword in the boot.

The garda said Hayden was unable to give a reason why he had the sword.

Gda Fitzgerald said he stopped Hayden driving the same car on Newbrook Road, Donaghmede on March 10, and asked for his insurance. He failed to produce it, as he was banned from driving at the time. The court heard that Hayden has 16 previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Hayden did not own the car, which belonged to a friend, who has since passed away.

Judge Patrick Brady fined Hayden €1,000, banned him from driving for five years and sentenced him to eight months in prison.