Stun gun sen­tence up­held by court

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

AN AIR­LINE pas­sen­ger who brought a stun gun back from hol­i­day in Thai­land, as a “prac­ti­cal joke” gift for a friend, has chal­lenged the sever­ity of his two-year sen­tence.

An­thony Gra­ham Bin­field, of Elder­field Road, Stoke Po­ges, was jailed at Isle­worth Crown Court in Jan­uary af­ter he ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing a dis­guised firearm and an of­fen­sive weapon.

The 41-year-old was pros­e­cuted af­ter trav­el­ling back through Heathrow Air­port in De­cem­ber last year, Lady Jus­tice Sharp told Lon­don’s Ap­peal Court on Tues­day, May 19. Bin­field, who was fly­ing home from Thai­land, was stopped as he strolled through the ‘noth­ing-to-de­clare’ zone, the court heard.

When searched, his bags were found to con­tain a knuckle duster and a stun gun dis­guised as an iPhone.

Bin­field said he bought the knuckle duster for a “rel­a­tive who col­lected such things” and he ac­quired the stun gun in­tend­ing to play a “prac­ti­cal joke on a friend”.

Lady Jus­tice Sharp, who was sit­ting with Mr Jus­tice Hick­in­bot­tom and Judge Eleri Rees, said: “He had no idea such items were il­le­gal. He had no in­ten­tion of caus­ing any harm.”

But the judge said the firearms of­fence car­ried an au­to­matic five-year min­i­mum sen­tence, save in “ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.”

Bin­field had al­ready been given a gen­er­ous dis­count to al­low for his lack of crim­i­nal in­tent, she added.

Ben­field asked the court to free him, claim­ing his sen­tence should have been suspended.

But Lady Jus­tice Sharp pointed out that Bin­field would have “passed on” the stun gun – even though he had no sin­is­ter mo­tives.

“We do not con­sider the sen­tence to be man­i­festly ex­ces­sive,” she con­cluded, re­fus­ing per­mis­sion to ap­peal.

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