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Belfast 'vigilante' handed 125 hours community service

Credit: UTV

A self-proclaimed vigilante who claimed to be on the streets with a baseball bat to deter any burglars has been handed 125 hours community service.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard William Carson was among a group of up to 10 men performing "neighbourhood watch" duties in the Taughmonagh area.

The 33-year-old, of Finbank Court in the city, was convicted of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Prosecutors said police were alerted to the group with bats near Malfin Drive in the estate on January 13.

Carson was later detained and admitted he had been carrying a silver baseball bat retrieved from a nearby social club, claiming that he used it for protection and to act as a deterrent.

Carson had previously claimed he was unable to carry out community service due to paranoia, a fear of unknown situations and physical difficulties.

Following a brief adjournment to consult with Carson, his solicitor confirmed he was now willing to undertake the work.