Hartlepool man spared jail after he bought a stun gun online that could 'immobilise someone in just a few seconds'

Buying a stun gun online because it looked ‘cool’ landed a Hartlepool man in court.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:04 pm
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Joseph Godfrey, 46, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon and possession of cannabis when he appeared before Teesside Crown Court.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said police visited Godfrey’s house in the town’s Park Square in March this year and while there he showed them the device, which looked like a torch, but which could give an electric charge.

He said experts tested the device and found that it could immobilise someone in just a few seconds.

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Mr Hadfield said: “He said he was a moron for shopping online. He bought it because it looked cool and didn’t know it was illegal to have one.”

He said Godfrey, formerly known as Joseph Preston, said he had previously been burgled and thought he might be able to use the item if it happened again.

Mr Hadfield said Godfrey also admitted to having the small amount of cannabis in his house for personal use.

He said: “He said he spends about £20 a week on cannabis because it helps with his illness.”

Conor Quinn, defending, said: “He cares for his 19-year-old daughter, they rely heavily on each other.”

Judge Peter Armstrong decided not to send Godfrey straight to jail for the offence.

He said: “I will work on the basis that you didn’t know it was illegal.”

Godfrey was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and placed on a two-month curfew.