Man jailed after being found in a stolen car and in possession of an imitation firearm in St Albans


A man found in St Albans late at night in a stolen car and with an imitation hand gun has been jailed for 16 months.

Damian Duffy, who had been drinking and was over the limit, claimed the car wasn't his and he had been sitting in it for a drugs purchase. And he said the imitation firearm which was in a bag containing his belongings was nothing more than a paperweight.

At Luton Crown Court Duffy, 34, of no fixed address but with links to Islington in London, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm, possessing cannabis and driving with excess alcohol.

Rebecca Smith prosecuting told how it was around 1am on 14 October last year when police noticed a blue Nissan being driven along London Road, St Albans. It's details revealed it had been stolen in a burglary the previous month and the police could see damage to the car's off side rear light and wing. The car was stopped and Duffy was behind the wheel. Arrested and taken back to the police station, his bag was searched and the items found.

In an interview, he claimed he had been making his way from London intending to start a new life down in Devon when he took a detour to St Albans that night to buy drugs. He said after meeting some people in a pub who said they could get him some cannabis, he was taken in a car to an area in St Albans and told to remain in the car while they went for the drugs.

Duffy said he had handed over £60 and when they didn't return he noticed the keys were in the ignition and so he drove the car to see if he could spot the people he had given his cash to. He said that's why he was in London Road at the time and had played no part in the burglary in September of last year when the blue Nissan was stolen.

Judge Martin Griffith disqualified him from driving for 18-months.

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