Scot jailed over stun guns after Facebook video boast

editorial image
Share this article
0
Have your say

A man was caught trying to smuggle stun guns through an airport after posting footage on social media outlining his plan was jailed for five years today.

A judge refused a plea to allow father-of-four Henry Morton to escape the minimum sentence for possessing the weapons which were disguised as mobile phones.

Lord Ericht told Morton: “You were well aware that what you were doing was wrong.”

The judge rejected a defence plea that there were exceptional circumstances which would allow him not to impose the five-year term laid down by Parliament.

Lord Ericht said: “The minimum sentence cannot be said to be arbitrary or disproportionate.”

He said that selling the stun guns would have put them into the hands of others who may have used them for violent purposes.

Lord Ericht said he had paid careful attention to evidence about Morton’s IQ, but added: “In my view that does not constitute an exceptional circumstance.”

The judge was shown footage retrieved from Morton’s Facebook account, titled Henry’s Funny Videos 2014, as Morton earlier pled guilty to firearms offences at the High Court in Edinburgh.

In the self-shot video Morton identified himself and revealed he was at the Sunni Beach resort, in Bulgaria.

He said: “I just went to the supermarket today and I bought, as you can see, a nice iphone4s. How would you like to have one of these yourself?”

Morton then demonstrated the weapon, which can discharge about 5000 volts, on camera, before saying: “You f--- with me and you will get tasered and that’s the truth.”

In further incriminating footage he was heard saying: “Got an iphone 4 but it’s no, it’s a shocker.”

Advocate depute Stewart Ronnie said Morton has also posted on his Facebook page that he was in the East European country and was going to bring back stun guns to the UK to sell for pounds 300 each.

Morton (37) formerly of St James Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, was later stopped going through the “nothing to declare” channel at customs at Glasgow airport by Border Force officers.

He was detained and his baggage was searched and two stun guns were found in a jumper. During an interview he claimed that he thought they were genuine iphones and said he intended to use them as music players.

Mr Ronnie said: “The accused accepted he knew it was illegal to bring stun guns into the UK, having seen signs at Glasgow airport.”

After he was charged over the importation he replied: “Well, where’s the evidence.”

Restaurant worker Morton earlier admitted possessing without authority a disguised firearm and illegally possessing two stun guns disguised as mobile phones at the airport on September 16 in 2014.

Defence counsel Laura Reilly told the court that 99 per cent of the population had a higher IQ than Morton and he had been assessed as posing a low risk of re-offending.

Morton told the court: “I thought it was OK to bring them back.”

He told the court that he had been drinking a lot in Bulgaria where alcohol was cheap during his holiday and had seen the items in a supermarket where a woman was testing them.

Morton said he had posted his “funny videos” in a bid to get “likes” on his social media page.

He said he did not regard himself as a violent person and did not intend to use them to cause harm to anyone.

He said: “I just seen them and I just bought them. I wasn’t going to do anything with them.”

He denied intending to sell them and said he had put that in a Facebook message because he was drunk.

He said he was “showing off” when he posted the video in Bulgaria and told the court: “I am sorry for what I have done.”

Back to the top of the page