Many people live in areas that are also occupied by ruffians of various stripes. Gangs move into neighborhoods, or local kids start acting like hoodlums and cause worry and distress to local homeowners.
Many of the residents of these areas find themselves at a loss about how to cope when this occurs, but when Alun Powell had it happen in his neighborhood, he took action.
Powell, a Welshman from Maindee, Newport, found himself in court on assault charges after threatening some local miscreants with a replica 14th century broadsword.
The 31-year-old father of four says he had been faced with years of people revving their cars outside his house, smoking drugs, and putting trash through the mail slot in his door. According to the prosecuting attorney, Nuhu Gobir, “He was clearly angry. Instead of calling police he went outside and put himself in danger by arming himself with a knuckle duster (brass knuckles). He showed it to the crowd. He grabbed one of the miscreants by the throat even though there had been had no threats toward him. He went to his car and grabbed a sword and axe.”
After retrieving his weapons from the trunk of his car, Powell was accused of “taking a fighting stance,” then using the sword to break the window of a nearby car as the miscreants fled the scene.
Gobir also said “He said in a police interview that he ‘saw red’. He told the man and another complainant that he was going to kill them. They saw the weapons and left as quickly as possible.”
The Telegraph reported that Powell allegedly attacked the man after going outside to take photographs of the young man’s antisocial behavior. The two men fought before Powell went to the car to retrieve his weapons.
When the vigilante was asked why he had the sword in this trunk in the first place, he replied that it was because of his hobby. Powell said that he takes part in “Medieval historical battles,” and he has fought in staged battles at castles using blunted weapons. This includes the broadsword he pulled from his car. He went on to say that he had represented Wales in the sport’s World Cup.
Powell denied the charges of assault by beating and threatening a person with bladed articles in a public place. His attorney, Jenny Yeo, told the court during his defense that he had held the weapons in a downward position, and didn’t mean to use them.
There are clear and specific laws in the United Kingdom that pertain to sword ownership and use. Powell’s sword wasn’t, in and of itself, illegal, nor was his possession of it, since it fell under the heading of being used for purposes of historical recreation and collection.
It was also a European-style broadsword, and not a samurai-type blade, which has different regulations.
The point at which he crossed the threshold of legality was when he took it out of his car and reportedly brandished it. Carrying a sword in public is against UK law.
The laws were revised and updated after an incident in 2000, where a British MP and his assistant were assaulted by a man wielding a samurai blade. The MP was able to escape and run for help, but his assistant was not, and sustained a number of wounds to various body parts, which ended his life.
Historical Medieval Battle is a relatively young sport, but one which has already spread across continents. Safety is an important issue, and there is a set of international rules and guidelines that regulate it. There are at least ten major clubs that practice the sport in the United States, alone.
Since 2010 there has been a worldwide championship battle annually, called the “Battle of the Nations.” Participants are not taking part in a large, staged re-enactment of any actual battles from history.
Instead, they load themselves up with armor and replicated period weaponry and flat-out fight. Participants can equip themselves from a number of retailers who specialize in the necessary equipment. They also train extensively, often learning to use multiple weapons. Like Mr. Powell.
No wonder those kids took off.