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Bulldog breeder had weapons in his luggage at Cardiff Airport.

Byline: LIZ DAY Reporter liz.day@walesonline.co.uk

A DOG breeder was caught with eight knuckle dusters and six batons at Cardiff Airport as he returned from a family holiday in Cyprus.

Hashem Djaiz, 41, told Border Force officers he did not have anything in his luggage he should not have but they found the weapons in his and his family's suitcases.

The haul included solid metal knuckle dusters and batons marked "Police".

Sentencing him at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Eleri Rees said knuckledusters were designed to inflict "serious injuries".

The court heard the incident occurred at Cardiff International Airport in the Vale of Glamorgan on August 14 last year.

John Lloyd, prosecuting, said the defendant tried to bring the weapons through customs after getting off his flight from Larnaca in Cyprus.

Prosecutors said he was challenged about whether he had any weapons in his suitcase and said he did not but his bag was X-rayed and showed a knuckleduster.

Border Force officers then found eight knuckle dusters and six batons spread between his own suitcase and the cases of his partner and children.

The court heard he claimed he bought them on holiday and tried to argue they were "flimsy" toys. He also claimed he intended to use them for decoration.

Djaiz entered a basis of plea which was rejected by the Crown and his case was listed for a trial of issue.

But he subsequently abandoned the basis and admitted the weapons would have been distributed to other people.

Judge Rees said she "totally rejected" his account and Mr Lloyd added: "It is clear these were for onward distribution."

The weapons were brought to court and clanked in a plastic bag as they were handed to the judge. She observed the knuckle dusters were "solid metal" and "quite weighty".

Judge Rees added: "Knuckledusters are designed to inflict the most series injuries if used during a fight."

She noted some of the telescopic batons said "Police" on them and said they could only be used legitimately by police officers.

Prosecutors said the defendant had been before the courts for 21 previous offences including affray, assault and battery.

Djaiz, of Collard Crescent in Barry, admitted importing prohibited weapons.

David Pinnell, mitigating, said his client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and asked for full credit for his plea.

He provided several character references including one from boxer Lee Selby and others from former partners.

Mr Pinnell told the court the defendant runs his own business breeding French bulldogs, adding: "He is held in high regard around the world."

He described Djaiz's offending as "stupid" and said the consequences would have a "devastating" effect on his family and friends.

Hashem Djaiz Judge Rees said she must take into account the number and nature of the weapons and the defendant's intention in bringing them into this country.

Djaiz was jailed for 20 months and an order was made for the knuckledusters and batons to be forfeited and destroyed.

Peter Jones, from Border Force at Cardiff Airport, said: "We are determined to prevent dangerous weapons such as these from reaching the UK's streets...

"Our work led to the seizure of more than 10,000 offensive weapons last year."

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Hashem Djaiz

The eight knuckle dusters and six batons found in Hashem Djaiz's luggage at Cardiff Airport RICHARD WILLIAMS
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:May 24, 2018
Words:557
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