A MAN who stole a stun gun from a nightclub thinking it was a mobile phone was jailed for five years yesterday.
David Thompson, 35, a father of two, said it was not until he was outside the club and tried to switch the device on to make a call that he realised what it was, because it started crackling.
The hand-held contraption looks like a stereotypical black mobile phone, complete with a display picture and keypad.
The same model is advertised online as a “cellphone stun gun”, with one website stating that it can produce a charge of up to 300,000 volts.
Thompson was caught with the device – which is classed as a firearm – shortly after leaving the bar and was charged under the Firearms Act on 21 November last year.
The charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison unless the court decides there are exceptional circumstances.
Thompson pleaded guilty to the charge at Stonehaven Sheriff Court last month.
And yesterday Sheriff Christopher Shead dismissed Thompson’s defence lawyer’s case that his client had only meant to take a mobile phone.
The sheriff said: “I have reached the conclusion that there are no exceptional circumstances in this case. I have got no choice but to look at a minimum term.”
Thompson, who is listed as a prisoner of Aberdeen, had been drinking all day and into the night, said defence agent Gary Foulis, who added that his client had a “severe” drink problem.
He had taken what he thought was a phone, but once outside the bar he hit a button on the device and it started “tingling” at the top.
He was then approached by three men who he claims told him the stun gun belonged to them and asked for it back.
Police were called and Thompson was charged with being in possession of a stun gun after the device was recovered at Grampian Police headquarters.
Thompson also admitted assaulting a constable by spitting at him on the same date and acting in a threatening manner towards officers at the police station.