Ex-councillor admits possessing machete

A FORMER Suffolk councillor has appeared in court and admitted illegally possessing a machete and a truncheon.The items were found on the passenger seat of Robert Stroud's car when the former Leiston town councillor was stopped by police and found to be over the drink drive limit, Lowestoft magistrates heard.

A FORMER Suffolk councillor has appeared in court and admitted illegally possessing a machete and a truncheon.

The items were found on the passenger seat of Robert Stroud's car when the former Leiston town councillor was stopped by police and found to be over the drink drive limit, Lowestoft magistrates heard.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to possessing an offensive weapon – the 18-inch wooden truncheon – and possessing a blade or sharply pointed object – the machete with a 17-inch metal blade.

Magistrates told Stroud, 52, of Abbey Road, Leiston, that they were "keeping all options open" when he appears before them again for sentencing on October 29.


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Stroud admitted at a previous hearing to being more than three times over the drink drive limit at the wheel of a Peugeot estate car when he was stopped by police.

He had 111 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath in his blood when he was stopped at around 10.15pm on Sunday, September 5, in Urban Road, Leiston. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

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However, he has denied another charge of possessing a lock knife with a three-inch blade without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. The case will go before magistrates for summary trial.

Two other charges relating to possession of offensive weapons were withdrawn by the prosecution.

He told police he used the machete for cutting back bushes, and kept the truncheon to protect himself, the court heard.

Naomi Turner, prosecuting, said: "There was no suggestion these weapons had been used."

Stroud was granted unconditional bail until his next court appearance, when magistrates will hear pre-sentence reports. An interim driving ban was kept in place.

Stroud joined Leiston Town Council in May last year, when there were uncontested elections in the town. He submitted a letter of resignation on September 6, the day after his arrest.

After moving into town, he set up a business, Avocet Art, in the High Street.

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