A defendant who took his tortoise to court and showed it to a judge as part of his defence has been back in the dock – this time without his pet.
David Spedding, of Carr Meadow, Bamber Bridge near Preston, is accused of having a blade – a steak knife – in public at the Castle pub on Central Drive, Blackpool.
He denies the offence, claiming he had the knife to cut up fruit and vegetables for the tortoise during their trip to the seaside.
During a plea hearing at Preston Crown Court - on his 57th birthday - he pleaded not guilty to having a bladed article on May 27 this year.
Richard Archer, defending, said his client had “spoken to tortoise experts” and wished to have that evidence before the court. He added: “He is very keen to show the jury his tortoise videos.”
The defendant says the knife was in a bag with food to feed the tortoises.
His trial will take place on March 5 and is expected to last three days.
He was granted bail by Judge Andrew Woolman.