Newport's masked crime fighter said he wanted to 'strike fear into criminals'
A COMIC book-loving vigilante wanted to strike fear into criminals to avenge a street attack on him.
Tanis Baker, 21, dressed in black body armour, masked his face with a balaclava and armed himself with a wooden sword and smoke bombs, at Beechwood Park around 12.30am on September 6.
Cwmbran Magistrates Court heard yesterday how he sat crouched on top of the park gates keeping watch for criminals when he was spotted by a police officer.
Believing he was carrying a Samurai sword, the officer called for backup and the police helicopter was scrambled and dog handler was called.
Baker, of Hendre Farm Drive, fled into the park and hid in bushes near the children’s play area.
He was arrested and led officers further into the park where he had hidden two rucksacks, one containing clothes and the other holding seven smoke grenades.
He told police in interview he was a "vigilante in a costume" and that he wanted to help people in trouble.
The barman, who works for Riley’s Snooker Club, said he belived he was the "eyes and ears" of the police on the streets and wanted to strike fear into criminals.
Baker pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon in a public place at yesterday's hearing.
Louise Warren, defending, said whilst the offence took place in a public place, no one but the police officer involved saw him.
The court heard Baker was bullied for many years and struggled growing up in his neighbourhood.
He was attacked by a gang of youths whilst out with his sister a year ago, but police were unable to find the offenders.
Since then Baker has wanted to help the police to protect society, magistrates were told.
When asked what he would have done if he encountered a crime, Baker admitted he had not thought that far ahead.
A probation officer, who assessed him, said the comic book fan seemed to get confused between fantasy and reality and sometimes had trouble distinguishing between what was in comic books and what was real life.
Sentencing him to a 12-month supervision order, chair of the magistrates, Paul Lavin, said: "You may have thought he were helping but you caused a lot of trouble. Do not do this in future or else you’ll be in big trouble."
Baker must also complete 60 hours unpaid work and pay £85 court costs.
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