Man brought banned weapon into UK

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A TOURIST who brought a banned weapon into the UK from a holiday abroad has been put under house arrest.

Officers found a prohibited stun gun, which had been adapted to look like a torch, during a raid at Andrew Blake’s home last September.

Newcastle Crown Court heard officers searched his property after he was caught with an air rifle with such a high velocity it was classed as an illegal firearm.

Prosecutors accepted Blake used the rifle to shoot rats at a friend’s farm and had not realised it was illegal.

Blake, 35, of Regent Court, South Hetton, pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without certificate in relation to the rifle.

He admitted possessing a prohibited weapon in relation to the stun gun.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite said it is unclear what actual damage the stun gun could do.

She said: “There’s no evidence to the harm it could do other than discharge electricity.”

Bob Spragg, defending, said Blake had bought the stun gun as a souvenir three weeks before in Bulgaria.

He said: “He had no idea what it was, the police had to show him.”

Judge Brian Forster sentenced Blake to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a 28-day home curfew between 9pm and 6.30am.

He said: “You must clearly understand that the courts have a duty to deter people from having secret weapons.”