A Polish man living in Cheshire, England, has been prosecuted for buying a light with an in-built stun gun online to fit to his mountain bike. The man bought the gadget from a Chinese website unaware it was classed as an illegal weapon in the UK, the Chester Standard reports
Konrad Dabrowski, 35, pleaded guilty to purchasing a disguised firearm during a hearing on December 7. The offence was introduced into UK law after a Bulgarian dissident was killed in London 40 years ago by an assassin wielding a firearm disguised as an umbrella. It would normally carry a minimum of five years in jail but the judge, Steven Everett, only sentence him to a 12-month suspended sentence due to exceptional circumstances.
Dabrowski ordered the £10 light as it was the same price as other mountain bikes but offered better value with the attached stung gun. The torches are often marketed as self defence items as the torch can blind an attacker and the electricity disable them. Police intercepted the package as it arrived in the country and were able to quickly locate Dabrowski thanks to his name and address on the package.
Dabrowski accepted that he knew the light discharged electricity but did not realise it was illegal. An examination of his phone revealed search terms such as "can I use a stun gun in self-defence?"
Prosecutor Mandy Nepal said: "He didn't intend to hurt anyone with it", while his defence lawyer, Chris Hunt agreed that his client had no such intent and was simply unaware he was breaking the law.
Judge Everett accepted Dabrowski's lack of intent and handed him a 12 month sentence suspended for a year, meaning Dabrowski is unlikely to face prison time unless he commits another offence. Everett added: "This is a valuable lesson learnt. If you come into this country you have to make sure you know what the laws are." Dabrowski plans to move back to Poland.