A man was caught with four illegal flick knives among a bag of novelty lighters as he was about to board a plane at Birmingham airport.

But Prithvi Raj narrowly escaped going to jail after a Judge at Warwick Crown Court accepted he was idiotic and reckless, but did not have any criminal intention.

Raj (49) of Hamilton Road, Handsworth, was first given a four month prison sentence suspended for nine months and ordered to pay £783 costs - but the judge later called the case back on and altered it to a £500 fine and £500 costs.

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He had denied possessing dangerous articles 'made for causing injury or incapacity to a person or for destroying or damaging property' at an aerodrome, but pleaded guilty after legal arguments on the day he was due to stand trial.

The court heard that Raj and a number of members of his family were at the airport on April 22 to catch a flight to India to attend a wedding.

But as they went through the security screening four knives were found in Raj's hand luggage, and prosecutor Rhona Campbell demonstrated how pressing a button on the side caused the blade to flick out and lock open.

The knives also doubled as lighters, and after examining one Judge Marten Coates ruled: "This seems to me to be an offensive weapon per se, a flick knife."

But Raj, who said he had bought them as lighters from a warehouse in Hockley for £1.25 or £2 each, asserted that he was not aware there were blades in them.

Nigel Hall, defending, said: "Also he did not know he had the lighters on him in his hand luggage at the time."

He explained that they had been moved to his hand luggage by his son because his other luggage was over-weight.