The Ninja of Swansea – Musahid Islam

The Ninja of Swansea – Musahid Islam

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Sitting in your office in Swansea, having your first coffee of the day, you glance out of the window. Maybe you see other people hurrying to their offices, a pigeon picking at a kebab left over from last night, or, if you’re lucky, maybe a bit of beach or park. What you probably wouldn’t expect to see is a fully-fledged ninja, half way up a building, conducting ninja training. Neither did an unnamed council worker who was faced with that very sight one morning recently.

Pretty bravely, he went to investigate. The erstwhile ninja, who was in fact Musahid Islam, a local man dressed in full ninja garb, had departed with his homemade nunchucks (made from a chest-expander device). However he had left behind his bag which contained the stanley knife that was to be his undoing.

He ended up in the Magistrates’ Court charged with possession of a Bladed Article. He stated that he had this for his own protection. This is generally not a defence unless there is a specific and current threat, which Mr Islam accepted was not the case. For this he received 8 weeks detention, but suspended for 12 months on 19th July 2013.

This may seem quite harsh and looking at the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (page 33), it would seem that it was in the lowest category which would indicate a starting point of 4 weeks given his guilty plea. Having said that, we don’t know anything about Mr Islam’s background.

What happened to the nunchucks and the ninja moves? Nothing. There is nothing illegal about being a ninja and doing ‘ninja training‘ in public. The nunchucks are not offensive weapons unless they are carried with the intention of using them to cause injury to someone and it was accepted here that Mr Islam was minding his own business, just training to be a ninja, and had no intention of using them. So, no crime.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

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