Man vows to fight weapons charges
A SUFFOLK businessman arrested after a penknife and a baton were allegedly found in his briefcase has hit out at the £40,000 cost of prosecuting him.Nicholas Samengo-Turner, 50, financial adviser to Christian Horner's Arden International Formula One racing team, said he "intended to fight this case all the way".
A SUFFOLK businessman arrested after a penknife and a baton were allegedly found in his briefcase has hit out at the £40,000 cost of prosecuting him.
Nicholas Samengo-Turner, 50, financial adviser to Christian Horner's Arden International Formula One racing team, said he "intended to fight this case all the way".
Speaking after a short plea and directions hearing at London's Southwark Crown Court he continued: "It is always somewhat suspicious that the Crown Prosecution Service have chosen to spend something like £40,000 on this when there are people who are waiting for operations in hospital."
The former investment banker from Hundon, near Newmarket, was driving along London's Victoria Embankment on November 3 last year when he was flagged down by an anti-terrorist stop-and-search team.
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His car was searched and a penknife fitted with a "locking device" and an extendable baton were allegedly found in his briefcase.
The father-of-two subsequently wrote an article in the Spectator magazine about the incident and his subsequent experience in a police station.
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Yesterday he denied two charges. The first alleged he was in possession of an offensive weapon, the second claimed he had a bladed article in a public place without good reason or authority.
Brian O'Neill, prosecuting, told the court: "Notwithstanding this is not the most serious of cases, because of a great deal of attendant publicity surrounding it, which is only likely to increase over time, it is appropriate for this case to have a fixture."
Judge James Wadsworth, QC, agreed and told the businessman his three-day trial would start on August 3.
He could remain on bail in the meantime.
Outside court the businessman insisted: "It is my intention to fight these charges all the way down the line. Absolutely."
He said his case featured "quite a few interesting points of law" which could see the matter ending up in the House of Lords.
"The most obvious one is whether shops selling a multi-tool with a blade over three-and-a-half inches long or with a lockable blade is committing an offence."
Asked if he was taking a stand against anything, he replied: "It is a stand for all the people who do not have access to a QC like I have to prevent the police bullying, wasting time and improperly executing paid police time.
"It is also to highlight the fact there must be millions of people who carry with them a multi-tool which is an object you use for a variety of things... either they are guilty and every single shop should be worthy of prosecution or they are not."