A union representative has been accused of having a samurai sword at a bin depot.

Dave Russell was a representative at the GMB at Brighton and Hove City Council’s Cityclean department when he was alleged to have a curved sword with a 71cm blade at the Hollingdean Depot in Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton, last October 18.

Russell, 63, appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to deny the charge of having an offensive weapon in a private place.

Jeanette Appleton, the solicitor defending him, said the sword, which was in an office at the depot, was not his.

Russell, of Shelldale Road, Portslade, will face trial on November 13 this year.

District Judge Amanda Kelly granted Russell unconditional bail.