Rousdon man caught with stun guns and knives

25-year-old East Devon man tried to smuggle weapons into Britain

AN East Devon man caught attempting to smuggle stun guns, pepper spray and knives through Bristol Airport has been given community punishment by a court.

Mitch Peter Reginald Christopher, aged 25, of Peek Mead, Rousdon, arrived at Bristol on August 11, last year, on a flight from Amsterdam having travelled from Manila in the Philippines.

He was stopped by agency officers who asked him if he had any restricted goods, including firearms, drugs or knives in his bags.

Christopher said he did not, but a search of his hold luggage revealed three stuns guns, two ‘butterfly’ knives and a tin of pepper spray.

The items were seized and Christopher was charged with three counts of possessing an offensive weapon.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at North Somerset Magistrates Court on December 14 and appeared on Tuesday (January 11) for sentencing .

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Magistrates handed Christopher 120 hours community punishment and ordered him to pay �85 costs.

Yesterday James Caldwell, who heads investigations for the UK Border Agency in the South West of England, said:

‘It is an offence to attempt to smuggle weapons of this nature into the UK and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

‘The weapons this individual had in his possession are extremely dangerous.

‘The UK Border Agency is at the forefront of the fight to stop illegal weapons, drugs, other contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK and our officers work around the clock at ports and airports to keep them out of the country.”

UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

They also use an array of search techniques including detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, weapons and cigarettes which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.