A MAN caught with a knuckleduster and a hidden machete in his car has walked free from court after spending three nights in prison.

Brian Moss was at risk of a minimum sentence of six months for what was his second offence relating to possession of a knife/knives in public, in three years.

Durham Crown Court heard that following concerns raised by a security guard, police approached a vehicle parked outside Wear House, the former npower offices in Birchwood Drive, on Peterlee’s South-West Industrial Estate, at about 6pm, on Tuesday May 29.

Amrit Jandoo, prosecuting, said Moss was in the Mitsubishi Lancer and the keys were still in the ignition.

Mr Jandoo said the officers noticed that attached to the keys was a skull-shaped knuckleduster, while a 16in-weapon was concealed in a sheath where the spare tyre is usually stored.

Moss, 30, of Sherburn Grove, Burnside, Houghton-le-Spring, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

He admitted possessing a bladed article and an offensive weapon in public, at a previous court appearance before magistrates.

The case was sent to the crown court for sentencing as Moss has previous offences of affray, plus possessing a knife and offensive weapon in public, on his record.

Mr Jandoo said those offences arose from an incident at the home of Moss’s sister, in Easington Lane, in the early hours of July 27, 2015.

Moss was in possession of kitchen knives and large-handled branch cutters when police reached the scene, but he put them down when asked by the officers.

He was said to have been undergoing a psychotic episode, convinced people were after him, and a suspended sentence was imposed.

Moss was remanded in custody for the latest offences at the crown court, on Monday.

Graeme Cook, for the defendant, argued that it would be possible to pass the statutory six-month jail term, but to suspend the sentence.

After that was confirmed, Recorder Ray Singh said that as Moss complied with the terms of the previous suspended sentence and has spent three days in custody, he could follow suit this time, as the weapon was not being used at the time of his arrest.

Recorder Singh imposed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Moss was also made subject of a four-month electronically-monitored 9pm to 6am home curfew, while a forfeiture order was made relating to the knuckleduster and machete.