King’s Lynn man made roll of coins for use as weapon, court told

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711

A man who taped together a roll of coins in order to use them as a weapon has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The item was only discovered after police arrested Vincent Johnson for being drunk in the centre of Lynn.

But the 21-year-old, of Newlands Avenue, North Lynn, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, when he pleaded guilty to a charge of possesing an offensive weapon during a court appearance yesterday.

Passing sentence, presiding magistrate Robert Childerhouse told him: “This was probably the last thing you should have been doing.

“We hope this will be a wake-up call for you. If you’re brought back in here, you know where you’ll be going. We don’t expect to see you again.”

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, earlier told the court that Johnson had been arrested in Norfolk Street, Lynn, during the early hours of April 2 this year for an offence of drunkeness.

A subsequent search revealed he was carrying a roll of coins which had been stuck together with tape.

When interviewed, he admitted he was carrying the item to use it if he became involved in a physical confrontation.

Mr Harold quoted him as saying: “It’s heavy so it hits harder. It’s like having a weight in your hand.”

The court was also told that this was Johnson’s second offence of this type, following a conviction for possession ofa lock knife five years ago.

Mr Harold said that meant the starting point for sentencing should be six months in jail.

But Ruth Johnson, mitigating, said that offence, committed when her client was 16, came about when he placed the knife in his pocket after taking down Christmas decorations down and forgetting he was carrying it before going out.

On the latest incident, Miss Johnson said he had made the weapon following a recent assault and out of fear of potential reprisals. However, he accepted the threat was not immediate.

She said he accepted the position he found himself in but urged the bench to suspend any custodial sentence they decided to impose, arguing that he had made “outstanding” progress since the earlier case.

The court also heard that Johnson’s son is currently undergoing hospital treatment in London and will eventually need to undergo a liver transplant.

And Miss Johnson added: “He’s not concerned with himself. He’s let his children down.”

Johnson was ordered to forfeit the weapon and pay £85 costs, plus a £115 victim surcharge.