Man who thought it was ‘pretty cool’ to walk round Portsmouth with taser jailed

A MAN who thought it was ‘pretty cool’ to walk round Portsmouth with a taser gun has been locked-up for five years after appearing in court.

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 9:26 am
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 11:26 pm

Steven Harris, 36, was spotted acting suspiciously on CCTV in September 2017 by police who thought drug dealing was taking place in the city centre, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

Officers then swooped on the defendant before searching him, where they discovered a disguised taser gun and three fake £20 notes.

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Prosecutor Christopher Wing told the court: ‘The officers approached Mr Harris and after searching him thought they found a torch before realising it was a taser gun. Three counterfeit notes were also found on him.

‘The defendant admitted it was a stun gun which he had because it was “pretty cool”. He said he had found it in Victoria Park and didn’t realise it was illegal.

‘He claimed he was given the money by a friend because he was hard up.’

The court heard how Harris had previous convictions for shoplifting, failing to surrender and burglary - resulting in a two year jail term in 2012.

The defendant, who appeared via video-link, admitted charges of possessing a prohibited weapon and carrying counterfeit notes.

Defending, Robert Bryan, admitted his mitigation was largely futile with the minimum term for carrying the weapon being five years jail. ‘There are no exceptional reasons to reduce the term so I urge your honour to keep the sentence to the minimum,’ he said.

The court was told how drug-addict Harris, of Edmonton Road, BexHill-on-Sea, East Sussex, had since stopped using illicit substances.

Judge William Ashworth agreed he would not extend the prison term for hapless Harris beyond five years - with a six month jail term for the forged notes to run concurrently alongside the five years in prison.

Judge Ashworth told Harris: ‘Police carried out a search and found a stun gun and counterfeit notes on you. You tried to explain it by saying you found the weapon in the park and were given the notes.

‘There are no exceptional reasons to reduce the minimum term. Therefore, you are sentenced to five years jail.’