Children find three-foot sword in Sidmouth

A SAMURAI sword found by children playing in a Sidmouth park last week has sparked memories of the tragic murder of Matthew Stiling. The three-foot long weapon was discovered by a 13-year-old girl and her friend in the play park next to Baker Close in the

A SAMURAI sword found by children playing in a Sidmouth park last week has sparked memories of the tragic murder of Matthew Stiling.

The three-foot long weapon was discovered by a 13-year-old girl and her friend in the play park next to Baker Close in the Stowford area of the town.

Police were called by the girl's grandmother after she took the sword home and officers collected it for disposal.

The shocking find comes four years after 33-year-old Matthew Stiling was fatally wounded by Bradley Moran in a samurai sword attack which happened in Sidmouth High Street.


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Mr Stiling was killed by a single blow to the body and Moran, 23, was sentenced to life in prison.

The samurai sword found in the town last Thursday has prompted police to issue a warning.

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Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police said: "With the very tragic case of Matt Stiling, it will always be something forever in our mind with people in Sidmouth and I would take a very dim view on anybody who carried one of these in the street and so would the courts.

"If someone is found in possession of a samurai sword it would be treated by police as an offensive weapon and they could be arrested."

Alarmed town councillor Stuart Hughes called the actions of the individual responsible for dumping the blade as deplorable.

He added: "It's very worrying to think people are dumping things such as samurai swords on busy and heavily populated housing estates with young children.

"Who ever left it there acted irresponsibly. A couple of children could easily cut themselves if they had pretended they were swashbuckling pirates."

The children who found the weapon and acted in a "responsible" manner have been hailed as heroes by Sergeant Turner.

He said: "The police would like to praise the children who located this potentially lethal item and informed an adult straight away.

"Although this is a rare occurrence, there are times when dangerous items are left in inappropriate places and this is another example.

"Our advice to children who finds instruments they believe are dangerous is to inform an adult and for them to contact the police."

Mr Hughes added: "It could have been a danger to anyone and thank goodness the children acted in a responsible manner.

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