A WIDNES man caught with a homemade samurai sword in a park used by children was told he is fortunate to not be going to prison.

Deivis Kunevicius, aged 23, of Cunningham Road, claimed the 11 inch blade had been given by a friend to keep as a 'decoration'.

The defendant was arrested after police were called to reports a man had been seen holding a 'martial arts style blade' while on King George V playing fields.

Halton Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday how the weapon was described as being like 'a cross between a metal bar and samurai sword'.

Alison Warburton, prosecuting, said the metal bar was cut in half with a blade attached to one side.

The incident happened at 6.15pm on Saturday, October 18.

Kunevicius, a Lithuanian national who has lived in the UK with his parents since 2006, was arrested on Dundalk Road.

Mrs Warburton said: "The defendant says (the sword) was a gift from a friend and he was going to use it as a decoration.

"He says he then met friends and so walked around with the knife, and went to the park with knife.

"He said there were no children around when he did that."

Kunevicius pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article in a public place.

The court heard the defendant, who works full time in food packaging, 'appreciates there is no sensible reason' he would have been walking around with the weapon, although he did not threaten anyone with it.

Magistrates sentenced Kunevicius to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a four week electronic curfew from 7pm - 4am.

He will also pay costs of £165.