Man who threatened doorstaff with Taser at Hartlepool pub avoids jail

AVOIDED JAIL: Martin Lee Webb.
AVOIDED JAIL: Martin Lee Webb.

A MAN who brandished and activated a Taser gun while threatening pub bouncers has escaped a jail term.

Justices sitting at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court sentenced Martin Lee Webb to two-months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

The bench had heard how the 41-year-old knew the red tubular item was an electrical incapacitation device when he drew it on the door staff outside The Showroom pub, in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, following a row around closing time.

The court heard how he also activated the Taser which started spitting blue electric sparks and making loud electrical buzzing noises.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Keith Kitching told Webb, of Musgrave Walk, Hartlepool: “There’s no doubt as far as we’re concerned that when you brandished this weapon that you knew exactly what could happen.

“In our view it passed the custody threshold and the sentence today is eight weeks in custody.

“However, this has been suspended for 12 months.”

The defendant told justices: “You won’t see me again.”

Webb, who used crutches and had to sit in the public gallery of the court as he could not manage the stairs down to the actual courtroom, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon without the authority of the Secretary of State, namely the Taser, at a previous court hearing.

He also admitted possession of cocaine and also using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, all on August 23.

The court was told that after the incident outside The Showroom, Webb was arrested and it was during a search at Hartlepool Police Station that the Taser fell from his boxer shorts.

Prosecuting, Guy Prest said Webb initially told officers it was a pink lipstick and that “it wouldn’t do nowt” and also said he thought it was a torch when he was given it by a friend on the night out.

Then he later made a throw-away comment about Hartlepool being a “crazy town” but would not go any further about it possibly being for self-protection.

Mr Prest said: “When he brandished and used it, he knew exactly what he was doing and what it was.”

Mitigating, Laura Calvert said her client, who was “petrified” of going to prison, lived in a modified bungalow due to his physical and mental ailments and had virtually become a recluse. She said this was just his third night out in years.

Mrs Calvert said he knew they were serious matters and added that he would not have used the cocaine, which was given to him by a pal to alleviate his knee problems, for fear of having a heart attack, as he had suffered one previously.

Webb was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.