'Viking' in court over 3ft sword

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(First Edition)

AN 'amusing eccentric' dressed in Viking chain mail appeared in court yesterday to defend his right to carry a ceremonial sword. Jason Scott, 25, denies having an offensive weapon after he was seen in Derby wearing the 3ft-long sword.

Andrew Cranmer-Brown, for the prosecution, told Derby Crown Court that Mr Scott, of Allenton, Derby, had 'rather bizarre religious beliefs'. He worshipped the Norse god Odin and needed the sword to enter Valhalla.

The court heard that when Mr Scott unsuccessfully appealed against a previous conviction, a judge had returned the sword on condition he keep it at home.

Mr Cranmer-Brown said: 'Can you imagine a frail old lady walking down the street and seeing Mr Scott coming towards her? They don't know he is an amusing eccentric who doesn't mean anyone any harm.'

Mr Scott told police he was returning from a radio interview, an occasion special enough to carry the weapon. He said he had given three of his four children Norse names. The eldest, Vernon, was named after his brother, but the others were Ullen, Sir Arie and Four.

The trial continues.