Stun gun man said he had ordered a torch

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When he ordered a torch on the internet a 27-year-old man claimed he was surprised to find it was a stun gun when he got it, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

But the judge said he “didn’t accept for one second that he acquired this weapon by mistake’ and imposed a suspended prison sentence.

Colm Lloyd, Summerhill Court, pleaded guilty to three offences which happened on April 24 last year.

For possession of a prohibited weapon, a stun gun and torch device, he was fined £250 and sentenced to five months in custody, suspended for two years.

A concurrent three month term, also suspended for two years, and a £150 fine were imposed for unlawful possession of cannabis.

Lloyd was fined £150 and given five months in prison, suspended for two years, for assaulting a police officer.

This sentence is to run consecutively with the previous matters making a total suspended term of ten months.

The court heard that police carried out a search under warrant at an address in Banbridge and found a green herbal substance which was suspected to be cannabis and a tazer or stun gun.

When the defendant returned he became aggressive with police and was arrested.

Lloyd later apologised for his behaviour and claimed the green substance was legal cannabis left by a friend.

He said that he had ordered a torch over the internet and he didn’t realise it was a stun gun until he opened it.

The assault charge arose because Lloyd was behaving in an aggressive manner and police were fearful of an assault.

A barrister representing the defendant said his client thought it was a torch and it looked like a torch.

He added that Lloyd had received a suspended sentence in 2012 which he did not break and for five years had stayed out of trouble.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said that he ‘didn’t accept for one second he acquired this weapon by mistake on the internet’ and that if he wanted a torch they were available in supermarkets.

He added that it was a ‘particularly aggressive piece of equipment’ and Lloyd had got it for protection of himself and his property.

Judge Copeland said the defendant was a man ‘given to aggressive behaviour’ and his conviction for drugs in the recent past had not gone unnoticed.

“If you appear again in the foreseeable future for any offence involving drugs you can anticipate going to jail,” he told Lloyd. “I’m alarmed this activity is going on in a house with a young child in it.”