Grantham court: Taser possession case discharged

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Two men charged with possessing a Taser have been given a conditional discharge, after the court heard that one of the defendants was moving back to Latvia.

Both 23-year-old Arturs Aboltins, of Ravendale Close, Grantham and 24-year-old Matiss Petrovs, of Harlaxton Road, Grantham, pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon designed or adapted for the discharge of an electrical incapacitant, without the authority of the Secretary of State.

Their case had already been repeatedly adjourned due to the Crown Prosecution Service not having the paperwork, and because a Lithuanian interpreter was mistakenly booked for the two Latvian nationals.

Prosecutor Jim Clare related how on November 17 at about 8.45pm, the two were seen by a witness walking along North Parade with what looked like a torch.As the witness passed they saw it activated to emit short bursts of blue sparks.

They reported this to police. Officers conducted a search and found the Taser in the pocket of a jacket belonging to Petrovs, although Aboltins informed police that it was his device.

He told them that he had purchased it from a Polish man for £15 three days earlier on North Parade, who had told him that it was a torch with improvements. Aboltins said he didn’t know it was a weapon and illegal to own in this country.

Mr Clare informed the court that if the Taser had been classed as a concealed weapon, it could potentially carry a custodial sentence of up to five years.

Speaking through a Latvian interpreter, Aboltins admitted his guilt and said he would never own an item like that again.

Petrovs also admitted that he was wrong and said he would never do it again. He then informed magistra

tes that since his last appearence in court he had gained employment back in Latvia.

Prior to this, magistrates were going to ask for a pre-sentence report and were considering a community order, but on learning these circumstances said that this would be ‘unworkable’.

Consequently they came to what they described as ‘a very unusual decision’, and gave both men a conditional discharge, lasting 12 months.

The forfeiture and destruction of the Taser was also ordered.