Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

For Sale on a Market Stall!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

For Sale on a Market Stall!

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Stack

A stall selling lethal weapons to passers-by is now open for business on Stockton Market.

The array of swords, knives and martial arts weapons were on display for the second week running on a stall at the junction of High Street and Dovecot Street yesterday.

On show were around 20 large swords, and a collection of samurai swords, nunchakus, and smaller knives.

Trading standards officers and police say the stallholder, Heshem Hagje, is doing nothing illegal.

Mr Hagje travels to markets throughout the North-east selling the weapons and says he will be back next week.

"The swords are old history, and people like to look at them. They come from Scotland, Japan, India, and China," he said.

"People like to keep them inside over their fireplaces to look at them."

Small knives were priced from pounds 5, with the larger swords, including sets of samurai swords with sheaths and a stand, costing up to pounds 60.

Many youngsters on school holidays were looking at the swords but Mr Hagje said he would not sell the razor sharp weapons to under 18s.

In January, father of one Robert Dunne was murdered in Middlesbrough with a 12-inch Samurai sword.

The 31-year-old scaffolder, of Connaught Road, was stabbed in the back, severing his aorta and puncturing his lung and heart.

Jason Kelly, 19, of Outhwaite Street, West Lane, Middlesbrough, was jailed for life with a recommendation he serve a minimum of eight years.

And in Stockton just yards from the town centre a man was hospitalised after his buttocks were "sliced to the bone" by a samurai sword during a gang fight in May.

The sword was one of several ornamental weapons taken down from the walls of a house and used in the fight.

Acting Detective Superintendent Gordon Lang, who headed Mr Dunne's murder investigation, said: "I won't advocate the sale of these swords anywhere and I can see no reason whatsoever why anyone would want one of these swords.

"They are lethal weapons and as demonstrated can lead to tragedy in the wrong hands or circumstances."

But market shoppers didn't seem too shocked by the new market trader's goods. …

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