A Woolwich man who was found with a Japanese samurai sword and attempting to disguise himself with a ski mask has been jailed.

Nathan Boyce, who lives in Argyle Road right next to the Royal Arsenal, was found by police in Woolwich on August 24 last year.

Police were called to a man acting suspiciously in Leda Road and found Boyce attempting to disguise himself and quickly hide his sword.

As he realised police were closing in on him, the 24-year-old stabbed the katana in the ground behind a tree in an attempt to keep out of officers’ hands.

Boyce was in breach of a criminal order relating to a separate knife offence in 2016, and him crime triggered a suspended sentence for a previous possession of a knife.

He pleaded not guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on January 2 but was found guilty the following day.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for the possession of the sword, and another six months for his previous suspended sentence.

Detective Constable Martin Langley from the Greenwich Gangs Unit said: "Knife crime devastates the lives of victims, their families and the communities of London.

"Nathan Boyce was armed with a sword in a residential estate and, if used, it could have had catastrophic consequences.

"The Greenwich Gangs Unit, and the Metropolitan Police as a whole, will put themselves in between the community and those who wish to cause harm.

"I urge members of the public to report knife carriers to police or anonymously via Crimestoppers - you will almost certainly save a life"

"We will not tolerate it, and we will take robust action against those who choose to possess any knife."