Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Man sentenced to prison for carrying 6-inch replica Zelda sword


LONDON — A man in Britain has been sentenced to four months in prison and a fine of $196 after wielding a replica sword from the Legend of Zelda Nintendo computer video games on the street.

Anthony Bray, 48, was named by Warwickshire police this week and sentenced for “being found in possession of a bladed article in public,” police said in a statement.

“The article in question was a small replica of the Master Sword from the Legend of Zelda games, which had a total blade length of 6 inches,” police added.

The Master Sword is a signature weapon that is frequently featured in the Legend of Zelda series and a recognizable prop in the game franchise released in the 1980s that is enjoyed by gamers globally. The sword features a blue and yellow handle and sheath and has the ability to vanquish evil and destroy magical barriers, according to fan websites of the game that follows young hero Link among a cast of other characters.

Britain has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world and some of the strictest gun laws, including comprehensive background checks. However, knife crime remains an issue, with more than 50,000 offenses involving a sharp instrument recorded by police in the year ending March 2023, according to government data.

It is illegal to carry most knives in public in the United Kingdom without a good reason. There are a small number of exceptions, including folding pocketknives that have a cutting edge no longer than 3 inches.

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Police said they approached Bray after CCTV footage showed him walking in the center of Nuneaton, a market town in central England, on June 8 with something in his hand.

Bray argued that the sword was being used as a “fidget” — a toy that he had purchased to keep his hands busy, according to the police statement.

“Officers tried to explain to Bray that, despite its intended purpose, it was in fact a sharply pointed item which could be used as a weapon and might put others in fear of it being used against them,” the statement added.

In police interviews, Bray underscored that he had no intention of using the elaborate sword as a weapon, police said, although he acknowledged that it could be perceived as threatening by others.

“We take a zero tolerance to bladed articles in public, and Bray has fallen afoul of this,” said Sgt. Fern Spellman of the Patrol Investigations Unit. “It is possible to find fidget toys that aren’t six-inch blades. It is possible not to walk down the street holding them out in front of you,” she added.

A Warwickshire police spokesperson told The Post by email Thursday that the replica Master Sword has been destroyed.

“There are significant concerns about serious violence involving bladed articles in Warwickshire,” he said, with “several incidents” recently in Nuneaton, “one of which is reported to have led to the sad loss of a young man’s life in the town centre.”



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