A man who kept a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone in his kitchen cupboard has been jailed for five years.
Police found the disguised firearm, capable of discharging an electrical charge, during a raid at Andrew Wotton’s home last October.
The 33-year-old claimed he did not realise what the weapon was and assumed it was a phone belonging to a friend, who would later collect it. He put it in his kitchen cupboard and forgot about it being there.
Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told Newcastle Crown Court: “He would say he thought it was nothing more than a mobile phone.
“On looking at the item, it is clear it is not a mobile phone and it would have been clear to the defendant.
“It has a picture on the front which does not change. It simply does not look like a mobile phone, the keys don’t work and the picture remains on screen.
“He clearly knew what the item was and has kept it for some time.”
The weapon had a front screen showing a picture of a beach and a fake keypad made of hard plastic.
It was activated by two electrodes at the top of the device, which was designed to resemble a Nokia N73 telephone.
Mr Recorder William Lowe said he was convinced Wotton, who has previous convictions for violence and robbery, knew what the device was
The judge said: “I am sure anyone coming across this object would know perfectly well it was not a mobile phone.”
Wotton, of Murton Lane, Easington Lane, admitted possessing a disguised firearm, which carries a mandatory five-year minimum sentence.