Hawaiian tourist lands huge fine after brandishing sword on Llandudno's Great Orme

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

A souvenir of his trip to Llandudno has landed a Hawaiian tourist with a hefty court bill.

Police officers rushed to Llandudno’s Happy Valley, on the Great Orme, after receiving reports of a man seen brandishing a large sword.

When they arrived they found 39-year-old Ray Lee Luster setting up a camera tripod and preparing to take a “selfie” of him holding the sword in the picturesque setting.

Prosecutor Diane Williams told magistrates in the town that Luster was “perplexed” to find himself the centre of such attention.

“It’s not an offence where I come from,” he said.

A small black knife was also found hanging from his belt, and an extendable baton was found in the room at the hotel where he was staying.

Luster, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing bladed weapons on August 17 and was fined £400 offence on eac h. He must also pay court costs of £85 and a £40 surcharge.

Mrs Williams said the area was extremely busy and several people had reported seeing Luster with the sword. When told to put it down he stuck it in the ground.

Craig Hutchinson, defending, said his client was Hawaiian and was spending eight weeks in the United Kingdom while travelling backpacking around the world.

He bought the sword and knife in a shop close to where he was staying, describing them as “cool”, but didn’t know he was committing an offence by carrying them in public.

“He did so quite openly, walking to the Orme along the main streets,” he said.

“There was nothing sinister about it and the people who saw him were not threatened in any way.”

“There is clearly a cultural difference here,” he added.

Chairman Phillip Northam told Luster, who appeared in custody: “We appreciate your actions were not meant to be threatening but they would cause fear and distress among the public.”

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