Did you hear the one about the male stripper and the offensive weapon?
No, really… Stuart Kennedy, who pays his way through university in
Mr Kennedy appears to have been charged under section 47 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, which makes it an offence to carry an offensive weapon in public “without lawful authority or reasonable excuse”. He has not been charged with an impersonation offence under section 43 of the Police (
A stripper in costume would seem to have a good claim to a “reasonable excuse”. That concept must be interpreted with the purpose of the legislation in mind: that is, to protect the public from persons who may use such weapons to cause or threaten injury (Lister v Lees 1994 SCCR 548), and there are few reports (to this writer’s knowledge) of male strippers going berserk. In England, the Court of Appeal has accepted that wearing a police truncheon as part of fancy dress can be a reasonable excuse under the equivalent legislation applying there (Houghton v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester (1987) 84 Cr App R 319).
But it would be wrong to prejudge whatever evidence might be led when proceedings resume tomorrow. No doubt all will be revealed in due course. It is unclear whether the same applies to Mr Kennedy’s stage act.