A PROMISING student has been put behind bars after a firearm was found in his home.
Police found the weapon, which was a stun-gun disguised as a mobile phone, when they searched Fahd Al-Hooti’s house during a raid on July 17 last year.
The 23-year-old, of Donvale Road, Donwell, Washington, pleaded guilty to possession of a disguised firearm, which carries a minimum sentence of five years behind bars.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Judge Robert Adams said Al-Hooti’s case was so “exceptional” that the jail term could be reduced to two years.
Judge Adams said: “Every case turns on its own facts.”
The judge said Al-Hooti’s guilty plea and previous positive character “weighed heavily” in his decision to reduce the prison term.
Judge Adams added: “In short, I have considered there are exceptional circumstances relating to both the offence and the offender which do justify me departing from the minimum sentence in this case.”
The court heard no charger was found with the weapon, which would have been required for it to work and there was no evidence Al-Hooti, or anybody else, had ever used it.
Even if it had been in full working order and fully charged, the weapon would not have been considered to be deadly.
Al-Hooti, who is studying at college with a view to going to university, told detectives he had an interest in weapons and had the stun-gun, which he had bought for £40, for protection.
He also admitted possessing a small amount of cocaine and an amphetamine substitute which were found during the search.
Christopher Dorman O’Gowan, defending, said: “He was not aware this was an illegal item and the item did not work, it could not be used with no charger. He is of good character. He is an industrious, hard-working young man. He is building his life with purpose.”
Judge Adams ordered that the weapon should be destroyed.