• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Teen arrested after he was photographed with sword in Blackbird Leys


Sep 8, 2022

A teenager photographed with a sword in his hand walked from court with a suspended sentence.

Dearntay Slattery, 18, was with a friend when he was photographed with the long-bladed weapon in a Blackbird Leys alleyway earlier this summer.

And on Wednesday he was spared an immediate prison sentence, with the magistrates saying he was still young and had not been in trouble with the courts before.

Jay Singh, prosecuting, told Oxford Magistrates’ Court that at around 7pm on July 9, a member of the public called the police saying Slattery was with another man walking down an alleyway near Druce Way, Blackbird Leys.

The pair had a moped and the caller, believing the bike was stolen, had confronted the men.

“They [the men] became aggressive and presented swords and other weapons,” Ms Singh said.

The 999 caller managed to take a photograph of Slattery and his friend. In it, the defendant could be seen with a long, straight sword held down to his side.

Ms Singh told the court: “The owner of the moped was approached and did not wish to confirm the bike was ever stolen.”

Photographs of the two men were circulated internally within Thames Valley Police and the men identified by other police officers. The sword was never recovered.

Slattery, of Samphire Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty at the first appearance to possession of a bladed article, named in the charge as a ‘sword’. He had no previous convictions.

The reason for the defendant being in possession of the weapon was not explained in open court.

However, in mitigation his advocate made it clear the sword did not belong to the teenager. She said: “There was no use, there were no threats. It starts very high. In reality, it is not quite as bad as it looks.”

Since his arrest, he had been on a curfew and had not breached the stay-at-home order. He planned to go on to university, although had deferred his place for a year.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Gillian Holliday said: “You don’t need me to give you a lecture or tell you anything else. It’s very, very serious.”

The ‘custody threshold’ had been passed but the bench had decided his jail time could be suspended, she added. That meant he would not go to prison unless he failed to comply with the probation service or committed another offence.

He must do 80 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also ordered to pay £239 in costs and surcharge.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward