A man found with a homemade spear after the Kill the Bill riot in Bristol has claimed he wanted to protect police and hunt deer.
Bradley Edmonds, of Ilchester Crescent in Bedminster Down, was spotted with the gun in Bristol city center around 5 a.m. on March 22.
The 28-year-old was just yards from Bridewell Police Station, which had been damaged shortly before by people protesting the Police and Crime Bill.
Edmonds says he is a self-taught martial artist whose parents “taught him how to kill,” Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday (June 10th).
He pleaded not guilty to carrying an offensive weapon, saying he had visited the area to “protect the city and protect the police.” He also said that the spear was for hunting deer.
Edmonds claimed he was unaware of the protest, having spent the night having magic mushrooms with an “anarchist guy” who “may have been called Jeffrey”.
Get the biggest stories delivered straight to your inbox.
The magistrates deliberated only a few minutes before finding him guilty.
Edmonds was found on Rupert Street with a wooden stick, one end pointed and the other end with material wrapped around “as if to be used as a torch,” prosecutor Paul Ricketts said.
“The material smelled sweet, like a deodorant or an aftershave,” Mr. Ricketts said.
Police found a balaclava and a shovel on Edmonds. He wore two pairs of gloves, the inner latex pair and the “stronger” outer pair.
Police body camera footage of the arrest was shown during the trial. It showed Edmonds sitting by a tree near the police station and telling an officer, “I just got out of my house.”
The officer said, “I was worried about what you were going to do because you had your sticks in your hands.
Edmonds then points to strangers and says to the officer, “You better watch these guys, they’re sneaky like f ** k.”
Several officers then restrain Edmonds so he can be stopped, as he shouts, “I haven’t done anything wrong. Let go of me, I haven’t done anything wrong.”
As he’s held to the ground, he screams, “I can’t breathe, get your dirty hands off me, you dirty pig.”
We hear a conversation between officers in which we say: “He was walking towards me with this [the spear], so I left and walked around the block. ”
Police questioned Edmonds the next day at 4:43 p.m. He was not represented during the interview.
Mr Ricketts said: “He said he had been diagnosed with ADHD and needed to channel his energy into a positive mental state somehow. He said he was going out and training in his martial arts.
Check out our best content through our dedicated smartphone apps and stay up to date with all of our news, including the latest on crime, business, travel and weather.
You can also read all of our latest What’s On content and entertainment stories.
A simple quick download and you can read our content on the go without being online.
See only the news that interests you – just select the topics you want to show on the app’s home page.
More importantly, you can now receive push notifications on your mobile, which will appear on your screen as a text message.
“He said he made and adapted an oak spear, which he said was 5 feet long, and narrowed the end to a point. He carved the name of his street on it.
“He said he could kill a deer with the spear and he’s a dangerous guy and his parents taught him how to kill. He describes self-taught martial arts.
“Mr. Edmonds said he dipped the spear cloth in paraffin and set it on fire.”
The accused told police that he had visited his brothers the day before, drinking two brandies and eating a KFC meal.
“He said he cycled home to Bedminster Down, where he lives with his mother, went inside, turned the music on loud and left the Xbox on,” continued Mr. Ricketts.
“He said he configured the Xbox to stay on in order to provide an alibi for its release.
“When asked why he needed an alibi, he replied that he still needed it because he was in trouble when he was going out.”
Edmonds took a shovel with him “in case he sees any beautiful flowers” to dig up and give to his mother, he told police.
The prosecutor added: “He walked through Redcliffe and punched and kicked bicycle racks. He said he was impressed with his martial arts skills.
“He saw a friend who might have been called Jeffrey but he wasn’t sure. He was an anarchist guy. They shared a spliff, and the man invited him back to his squat.
“Once there, Mr. Edmonds said he was offered magic mushrooms, which he hadn’t had before. He refused but was told it was rude to do so, so he accepted. ”
Edmonds claimed he was “stumbling” and his memory was unclear after taking the drugs.
“He said he used a fire extinguisher to spray Bridewell Police Station to remove dirt and foul and clean it up,” Ricketts said.
“He had no idea of the violent unrest that took place. He also said he was there to protect the city and protect the police. He said if he saw anyone damaging the station, he would “smash” them with his spear. He would hit them in the chin. ”
Edmonds described the aftermath of the 5 a.m. riot as “like a zombie apocalypse with no one around but garbage cans on fire.”
He told officers questioning him that if they wanted war he would “bring war”.
Wearing a gray hoodie and gray jogging pants on the dock, Edmonds chose not to testify during the trial.
In his closing statement, Mr Ricketts told the court: “Mr Edmonds said the spear was potentially intended for hunting animals. At 5 a.m. in Bristol city center, this account may not hold up. not be on the exam. ”
Edmonds lawyer Vanessa Pople said: “The term ‘offensive weapon’, as you have heard, refers to any weapon manufactured or adapted to injure a person.
“There is no evidence that this wooden stick was originally made to hurt anyone else – another meaning a person, not an animal.
“He had owned this object for several years and used it for hunting animals.
“He’s not one of the characters appearing in court for fueling or trying to start riots. He was on the road when it all ended.
“It’s about this man who goes out for a walk at a stupid time in the morning and is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The officers are on a heightened state of alert because of the violence on this street, they see a man with a stick in his hand and of course they’re going to want to stop and engage.”
Ms Pople argued that Edmonds’ comment about “bonking” someone on the chin does not prove an intention of violence.
“In his interview, he said he would use the spear in this way to protect damaged police property,” she said. “It’s a hypothetical situation.”
Taking a big book titled ‘Defending Suspects in Police Stations,’ Ms Pople continued, ‘Imagine if someone broke into this courtroom, damaging property, and I used this book to hit him. in the head.”
She argued that this was “analogous” to her client’s situation.
After a few minutes of deliberation, Presiding Judge Simon Brookes said magistrates found Edmonds guilty.
The probation service will complete a pre-sentence report before Edmonds’ next hearing on July 22.
Eight other people appeared in court charged with offenses related to the riot, which took place after a protest against the police and crime bill. The legislation would limit the rights of people to demonstrate peacefully.
The charges include riots, arson, violent disturbance, contempt of morality, theft of police equipment and possession of a Class B drug.