A former prison guard who imported 12 stun guns into the UK was yesterday placed on a curfew.
Maurice Thomson, of Bruce Street, Hilltown, arranged for an unknown man in America to buy the stun guns from a Walmart supermarket, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.
The man then disguised the guns as torches and posted them to Thomson’s mum’s home on King Street, Broughty Ferry, but the parcel was intercepted in England by postal staff.
Fiscal depute John Malpass said: “The weapons were found within a package which was intercepted by Royal Mail staff on October 28 last year. They were disguised as torches.
“The package was addressed to the accused at an address in King Street, Broughty Ferry. Police received a search warrant for this property and the accused was found within, along with other witnesses. He was detained and taken to police headquarters for questioning.”
Solicitor advocate Chris Fyffe, defending, told the court that Thomson claimed he did not know the guns were illegal in the UK, despite having previously worked as a prison officer at Perth for six years.
He added that Thomson was currently employed as a senior security consultant in India and that a colleague had asked him to purchase the guns on their behalf.
Mr Fyffe said: “His colleague wanted to get them in a short time frame and was concerned that if he bought them from the USA and had them delivered directly to India they would get lost or would not arrive in time.
“They were to be passed on to female family members and friends with the intention of being carried in self-defence against rape.
“He made a gross error of judgment by importing these items, but it was not done so to serve a criminal purpose, he did it with intent to help people.”
Thomson admitted that on October 28 last year, at Coventry International Postal Hub, Coventry, and King Street, Broughty Ferry, and elsewhere, he was knowingly concerned in an attempt to import goods banned under the Firearms Act, in that he did import 12 stun guns disguised as torches.
Sheriff Carmichael placed him on a three-month restriction of liberty order, confining him to his home address between 7pm and 7am daily.
He also ordered Thomson complete 150 hours of unpaid work in the community in a six-month period.