Thursday, June 30, 2016

Missing Viking axe row ended with bloodshed

The mystery of a missing Viking axe ended in bloodshed on the streets of Lampeter, south west Wales, a court has heard. Aidan Paul Devlin, aged 21, a student living at John Richards Hall, Lampeter University, appeared before magistrates. He pleaded guilty to assaulting Alexander Childs by beating, and herbal cannabis possession. Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told the court Mr Childs was approached while walking to the town square at 10.30pm on May 27.

The defendant asked Mr Childs if he knew who he was before stating: "I'm Aidan Devlin, and I'm a member of the Viking Society. I have it on good authority that you know where Scott Jackson's axe is." The court heard that the Viking Society took part in reenactments, and the axe in question had been left to the college armoury. Miss Morgan added that Mr Childs was exasperated at being asked about the axe's whereabouts, and turned to walk away. Devlin said if he found that Mr Childs knew where the axe was he would break his nose.

Miss Morgan said: "There was a brief pause and the defendant head butted him on the nose. He was in a lot of pain." Mr Childs suffered bleeding and a scratch during the assault, and was left in shock. Miss Morgan added: "He is still very shaken, and says he will be very wary about going out on his own for some time." Police noticed a smell of cannabis when they went to Devlin's room to arrest him, and he handed over cannabis with an estimated street value of £2.60. Devlin told officers that Mr Childs had 'smirked' at him when confronted about the axe, causing him to lose his temper.

Janan Jones, defending, told the bench her client was previously of 'absolutely clean character' and was in the second year of studying anthropology and archaeology. She added that he was 'mortified' to tell his parents about the incident. Miss Jones said: "This axe that was the bone of contention was from a well respected society in Lampeter. He is extremely sorry for what happened and has got himself some counselling for anger management, to keep calm if he finds himself in this situation again. This is something he will never, ever do again." Magistrates fined Devlin £120 and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to Mr Childs, plus £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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