A MAN who bought a knuckle duster off the Internet will have to carry out unpaid work after getting the weapon out in Skipton.

Adam Taylor, 35, got the knuckle duster out of his pocket after being set on by a group of youths in the High Street at around 11.30pm on May 1, heard Skipton Magistrates Court today (Friday).

In a pre-sentence report, the court heard Taylor, a ground worker, had not realised the knuckle duster was an offensive weapon and had learned a salutory lesson.

He had mental health issues going back some time, had struggled with isolation during the coronavirus lockdown and had gone out into Skipton to clear his head.

He had drunk two cans of Stella beer and while in the town claimed to have been set upon by a group of youths and there had been verbal exchanges.

Later, a vehicle had pulled up and more youths had attacked him with a baseball bat. He had taken the knuckle duster out of his pocket, although he had not used it.

The court heard Taylor had bought the weapon in 2018 and claimed not to have known it was illegal. He had bought it for protection and now regretted his actions.

Taylor, of no previous convictions, admitted the possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

In mitigation, Damian Walsh said Taylor was full of genuine remorse and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He would not be appearing in court ever again said Mr Walsh.

Magistrates sentenced Taylor, of Dawson Street, Skipton, to a 12 month community order with 80 hours unpaid work.

He will also have to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £95. A forfeiture and destruction order was made on the knuckle duster.