Drug dealer who had arsenal of weapons in his home jailed for 5 years after police raid uncovers stun gun disguised as torch

A drug dealer who had an arsenal of weapons scattered around his house has been jailed for five years.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 4:29 pm
Craig Beddow from Hartlepool has been jailed for five years.

Craig Beddow had a charged stun gun disguised to look like a torch in the bedroom of his house in Hartlepool.

Several other weapons were scattered around the house in places where they would be easily to hand, Teesside Crown Court heard.

A police officer with the weapon found at Craig Beddow's home in Hartlepool.

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"Police were executing a drugs search warrant," said Emma Atkinson, prosecuting.

"Officers found 27.6g of cannabis divided into small deals with a street value of around £270.

"In the garden there was a quantity of cocaine with a street value of £1,600, and a smaller quantity of amphetamine.

"Text messages found on a mobile phone such as 'got some white stuff' were indicative of drug dealing."

The weapon found at Craig Beddow's home in Hartlepool.

The court heard among the weapons were knives, a machete, an air rifle, and a hand axe.

"Some were on a wall and could be said to be ornamental," said Ms Atkinson.

"Others were in locations that were easily to hand, such as by doorways or behind a radiator.

"The stun gun was on top of a cabinet in the defendant's bedroom

The weapon found at Craig Beddow's home in Hartlepool.

Ms Atkinson said the stun gun was classed as a disguised weapon under the Firearms Act, and possessing it carries a minimum sentence of five years.

The other items are not illegal to possess if kept in the person's house.

Beddow, 37, of Farndale Road, Hartlepool, admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, possession of class B drugs with intent to supply them, possession of a disguised firearm, and possession of a firearm while subject to a suspended sentence, all on February 6, 2017.

Giving evidence, Beddow said: "I was seriously assaulted in 2004, and I was frightened that might happen again.

"I didn't know it was a stun gun, I thought it was a torch.

"It was brought to the house a couple of days before by a friend because we were working on a car."

The stun gun was shown to the court by Cleveland Police firearms officer PC Mark Outhwaite.

"It's a kind of three-in-one," said the officer.

"It will function as a torch, a baton, and also as a stun gun."

Sparks flew from the end of the gun as the officer discharged it.

PC Outhwaite said the electrodes on the end of the gun would need to be in contact with the target for it to have any impact.

Martin Scarborough, defending, said in mitigation: "It is Mr Beddow's case he did not know the item was a stun gun.

"The drug supply was largely among drug using friends.

"Mr Beddow does have a criminal record, but this will be his first time in custody."

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Beddow for five years.

The judge told him: "I accept you were a victim of a serious assault, and I accept you have genuine anxiety about a repeat attack.

"The weapons you had were weapons of defence not offence, and there is no suggestion you took any of them out of the house.

"But I cannot accept you did not know this was a stun gun, particularly given the context in which it was found."

The stun gun, air rifle, ammunition, and drugs were confiscated and will be destroyed.