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Hebburn criminal who claimed he had nunchucks to exercise is locked up

Chronicle Live logo Chronicle Live 22/03/2022 Rob Kennedy
Karl Barker, jailed for possessing an offensive weapon © Newcastle Chronicle Karl Barker, jailed for possessing an offensive weapon

A criminal who claimed he was carrying a martial arts weapon in public to exercise has been jailed.

Karl Barker, who has a long history of breaking the law, had nunchucks around his neck first thing in the morning in a recreation area. When he was approached by police in Hebburn, South Tyneside, he ran off and tried to dispose of the weapon, which is comprised of two batons held together by a cord.

The nunchucks were found by police in bushes and Barker was detained in September last year. He later claimed his intention was simply an outdoor workout but a judge at Newcastle Crown Court jailed him for 136 days.

Barker, 37, of Douglas Parade, Hebburn, who has convictions for 102 previous offences, admitted possession of an offensive weapon. The court heard five of his previous convictions involve him carrying weapons.

Recorder Mark Guiliani sentenced Barker to 136 days behind bars. The judge told him: "These are offensive, martial arts weapons. When the police saw you you did not stop and explain what was going on, you ran away and disposed of the nunchucks in an attempt to hide them."

Fiona Lamb, defending, said nunchucks are used in martial arts and "not just to fight someone". She added: "When he was found with them they were around his neck at 8.30am. He was on his own.

"He would say he was working out. They weren't brandished or used to threaten anyone. The defendant tells me he used them to exercise."

The court heard Barker has ADHD but has not engaged with the support from services he has been offered.

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