A CHESTER man who suffers with paranoid schizophrenia carried a brass knuckle duster for personal protection, a court heard.

Keith William Taylor, 40, of Hatton Road, Blacon, claimed he had been the victim of numerous assaults and needed the weapon as self-defence.

He pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place during a hearing at Chester Magistrates Court today (Monday, February 19).

The case was adjourned for three weeks while the Probation Service compiles a pre-sentence report on him.

Adam Till, prosecuting, said police officers stopped Taylor’s VW Golf on Stadium Way, Chester, on Friday, February 2, as it was being driven poorly.

The vehicle’s documents checked out but they noticed a strong smell of cannabis and a “gold coloured knuckle duster” in the car.

He was arrested and interviewed whereupon he told officers he needed the weapon for self-defence, Mr Till told the court.

“He claimed it was for safety due to a combination of paranoid schizophrenia and various violent assaults he’d been victim of in the past,” he said.

He had had the knuckle duster in his car for three or four days but had not used it. However, he stated he would use it in self-defence if necessary.

John Black, defending, stressed Taylor has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and suffered with paranoia “brought on by cannabis use that he accepts is extensive”.

He was released on unconditional bail until the sentencing hearing on March 13.