Jailed for disguised firearms offences

A JUDGE has issued a warning after a Skegness man was jailed for possessing eleven “dangerous” stun guns which had been disguised as mobile phones.

David Eldred, 39, was caught with the illegal weapons after police searched a property in Church Road, Skegness, following a tip-off from a member of the public.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the electronicaly charged devices belonged to a suspect who is still at large and wanted by police.

But the court was told Eldred failed to hand them in when he stumbled across them during a search of a stairs cupboard following the death of his partner in a road crash.

Jailing Eldred for 18 months, Judge Sean Morris said a message had to be sent out that such weapons were dangerous and needed to be handed into the authorities if they were found.

Passing sentence Judge Morris said he accpeted Eldred had been “befuddled” by grief but told him such weapons were very handy in the arms of criminals looking to mug people.

The court heard officers found most of the stun guns hidden in the folds of a futon after searching the address but one of the devices had been placed in a wardrobe.

David Eager, mitigating, said Eldred had no intention to use the weapons and only stumbled across them when he tidied up his partner’s home following her tragic death in a road crash in August last year.

Mr Eager admitted: “What he should have done was go to the police straight away.

“He didn’t do that but neither did he sell them on or put them to any use.

“He found them in a cupboard under the stairs, he put them out of his children’s way, and one item he took upstairs and placed on top of a wardrobe, although at the time because of his partner’s death he was drinking heavily and can not remember doing that.

“During drunken ramblings in the pub he was talking about what to do with them, one of those people told the police for which they need commending.”

Eldred, of Church Road, Skegness, admitted two charges of possessing disguised firearms following the search on 5 October last year.