Why Ballina man took knives, disguised Taser device to court
A BALLINA man has pleaded guilty to taking weapons and drugs with him to court.
But he's drawn no further penalty from also possessing the same item in a public place, a court has heard.
Clay Clancy Viking Widdows, 25, appeared before Ballina Local Court via video link on Friday.
Widdows was appearing before the same court on June 6 when police became suspicious and had reason to search him.
He was found to have knives, an arrow head, a Taser-like device disguised as a torch, drugs and a credit card belonging to another man in his possession.
Widdows' solicitor, Bill Roberts, lodged pleas of guilty to the charges of weapon, drug possession and having goods in custody suspected stolen inside court premises.
Magistrate Karen Stafford fined him for these matters and agreed to deal with other, "duplicate" charges, which related to the same items, with no additional penalty.
Mr Roberts said his client was, perhaps unnecessarily, charges twice after police removed him from the court room.
"One (set of charges) is having (the items) in the actual court room, and the other is for having it in the public place," Mr Roberts said.
The court heard his client had been involved with volunteer work in the community, along with his mother.
Mr Roberts told the court his client, was was "not known to police" before March this year but had recently struggled with his drug use.
This drug use led to Widdows becoming homeless.
It was that homelessness that led him to carry the offending items - along with all his possessions - into the court room when he was attending to answer other charges, the court heard.
Mr Roberts said Widdows had no intention to use the weapons in the court room.
The court heard Widdows had high prospects of rehabilitation.
Magistrate Stafford said in terms of the weapons, the easily-concealed items were "potentially dangerous" regardless of Widdows' intent.
"All those people who use a court room are also entitled to protection," she said.
"Even if Mr Widdows didn't intent to use them, the danger was anyone could have seized those weapons and used the against anyone in the court room at that time.
"It was a busy list day."
She acknowledged Widdows' "drug problem" and homelessness issues as she handed him a total of $1500 in fines and a two-year community corrections order.
He's required to be abstinent from drugs throughout that time.