Sword Wielding Medieval Knight Vigilante Takes On A Street Gang
A British medieval enthusiast took the law into his own hands after being harassed by local youths by grabbing some medieval weaponry and taking them on equipped with a sword and axe.
Alun Powell, who is 31 years old and a father of four children, owned the medieval armor and weapons for dressing up in battle reconstructions, and was reported by The Sun newspaper to “have used a 14th century sword to threaten a man, a court has heard.” In his defense, Mr Powell claimed to have “been persecuted for years by anti-social behavior including drug smoking outside his home and rubbish being pushed through his letterbox.”
The jury were told that Alun Powell, who practices with weapons for battle re-enactments, "pulled the 3ft blade and an axe from the boot of his car after brandishing a knuckleduster.”
He was accused of “taking a fighting stance” then smashing through a car window with the sword “as the group of youths fled” in terror.
Medieval battle enthusiast ‘saw red’
Prosecutor Nuhu Gobir said of Powell, “He was clearly angry. Instead of calling police he went outside and put himself in danger by arming himself with a knuckleduster.” After showing it to the crowd of youths Powell was then said to have “grabbed Kamil Ahmed around the throat,”
even though there had been no threats towards him.
Mr Powell in his medieval gear and weapons. (Alun Powell/Facebook)
Having scattered the crowd, Powell then went to his car and got his sword and axe, about which he told police that he “saw red.” Armed with two weapons, this is where Powell lost the plot and he “told Mr Ahmed and another complainant that he was going to kill them.” The accusers told the court that when they saw the weapons they left as quickly as possible.”
The court was concerned with the immediate incident, but made inquiries into why exactly Powell owned the sword, to which he said he was a “medieval sports enthusiast who fought at castles using blunt weapons, including his replica 14th century blade.”
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UK Sword Law
UK laws concerning the ownership of swords were updated on 6th April 2008 when the Government introduced an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988, which saw the addition of several types of swords to the Offensive Weapons Order list, including “curved blades over 50cm.” A BBC report at the time stated: "Legislation against selling, making, hiring or importing samurai swords in England and Wales has come into force. Those breaking the law face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine. Carrying a sword in public is already illegal.”
The larger katana sword here is illegal in the UK. The shorter (less than 50cm) blades are not. ( Public Domain)
Mr Powell was permitted to own the sword because exemptions were made in the 2008 laws for “swords which are used for re-enactments or antique weapons kept on display by collectors.” While Mr Powell didn’t own a samurai sword, he did carry a sword in public and that is where he broke the law. And it was a similar incident that span out of control in 2002 that brought about these new laws, an incident with quite horrific results.
Fatal UK sword attack
A Guardian article in 2002 described the “desperate attempts” made by Cheltenham MP Nigel Jones and his assistant to fend off “an attacker wielding a samurai sword.” With his “palms severely lacerated” he tried to grasp the three and a half feet long blade and Mr Jones wrestled with the attacker before escaping to raise the alarm. His friend and assistant, Liberal Democrat councilor Andrew Pennington, was unable to fend off the attack and died at the scene.
Mr Pennington, 39, suffered a succession of blows to his “stomach, chest and back,” and the Guardian reported the horrifying ordeal only ended when the councilor lay “motionless in a pool of blood” and the attacker “casually strolled out of the constituency office.”
In this recent sword incident, Mr Powell claimed he had represented Wales in the sport’s World Cup and that one man had “threatened his dad, who recently had a stroke.” Additionally, his defense lawyer said Powell “held the weapons in a downward position” and did not intend to use them. When the ruling was declared the judge cleared Mr Powell of assault but found him guilty of possessing offensive weapons.
Top image: Mr Powell, the recent vigilante medieval knight competing in a medieval tournament. Source: Alun Powell/ Facebook
By Ashley Cowie