By Paul Campbell
General Ninja Ant, who stopped short of stabbing himself to death outside Number 10 when he heard a Kylie Minogue song, was cleared of any wrongdoing this week.
The peace protester – due to be retried for possessing a bladed article – said he was prepared to “go into the next life to save 400,000 children at risk from the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
But as the razor sharp point pierced his jacket, the song On a Night Like This started playing in his headphones. Before he could slice himself with the seven-inch blade, the lyrics stopped him in his tracks.
“Thinking about it, the song was my downfall. That’s what stopped me putting the knife in my belly,” said the 42-year-old.
He posed the question: “How could anyone be violent when they love Kylie’s music?” and reasoned, “It is not possible.”
Having failed to do “the honourable thing”, he was arrested by police on Downing Street, on March 14 this year.
Ant told Southwark Crown Court he is a follower of Bushido – a Samurai warrior code of ethics – and should never have been charged with having the knife. The law, he insisted, allowed such weapons to be carried in public for “religious reasons”.
A jury tried Ant earlier this year, but they failed to reach a verdict.
Judge David Higgins questioned whether a retrial was in the public interest and demanded that the district crown prosecutor justify the expenditure of taxes on the case.
When the Crown announced they would be offering no evidence, the judge ordered a not guilty verdict be entered on the court file.
The judge said: “This man has already been tried once for this alleged crime and the jury could not agree”.
He added: “You know he had the knife and why he had it. He is not here on trial for trying to commit suicide. That has long ceased to be a crime.”
“I understand what the police officers did at the time and why they did it. The question is… what is in the public interest now.”
Ant will be hoping he can’t get the song out of his head.