FORMER pub landlord and ex-bouncer Clive Graham Ray had a live stun gun disguised as a mobile phone on the window sill of his kitchen when police raided his home.
Ray, 42, who had never been in any trouble before, faced the prospect of a five year statutory jail sentence when he appeared at Mold Crown Court.
But the Recorder Geraint Walters, decided in “exceptional circumstances” he could instead impose an 18 month prison sentence.
The court heard how Ray had been given the stun gun about a week earlier by a bouncer who had asked him to get a charger for it.
Ray had a contact who was in the mobile phone business and agreed to do so – but his barrister Matthew Corbett-Jones said Ray had not obtained a charger.
He had not used it, had no intention of using it, and while he knew it was a stun gun which worked, he had not appreciated how serious an offence it was to possess it.
Ray, he said, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following an attack upon him while the landlord at the Trevor Arms in Wrexham in 2011, after he earlier intervened when he heard a woman screaming.
He thought he was going to die when he was attacked in his bedroom in the early hours of the morning by a customer who beat him with a fire extinguisher and a table leg, and who said he was going to get a hammer “to finish the job off” before he lost consciousness.
Mr Corbett-Jones suggested Ray, who carried out charity work and who was currently organising a grand ball for a children’s charity, had not addressed his mind to the seriousness of what he was doing.
To impose the statutory five year sentence for such a man would be unjust, and would mean an arbitrary and disproportionate sentence, he argued.
Mr Recorder Walters said he agreed but could not impose a suspended sentence as the defence barrister suggested.
Ray, of Augusta Drive, Wrexham, admitted on February 3 he was in possession of a prohibited firearm – a Kelon K95 stun gun, disguised as a mobile phone.
David Mainstone, prosecuting, told how at 10.30am police executed a search warrant at his home and on a window sill saw what looked like a mobile phone case.
Closer inspection revealed the screen and buttons were false and it was in fact a working and charged stun gun with two prongs on the top of it.
It was probably of Far Eastern manufacture.
A police officer produced the stun gun in court and showed it to the judge, who said the idea of such a firearm being in the possession of a doorman filled him with horror.
Interviewed, the defendant initially claimed he did not know it was a firearm.
Mr Mainstone said there was no evidence to contradict the defendant’s explanation he had been given it by someone in the security industry in order to get it a charger.
The judge said, having heard arguments he was prepared to sentence on the basis that an acquaintance had given it Ray to get a charger for it, he had it for about a week, he knew it was a weapon and had been discharged in his presence.
He had no difficulty in accepting Ray had not appreciated how seriously the court regarded the possession of such a firearm.
It was not a lethal weapon, he had not used it and had no intention of using it and the defendant was a man of positive good character.
“I accept that in 2011 you were the victim of a vicious attack within your own home when you were struck by a man wielding weapons. You have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. In more recent times you have been treated for it and there is a great deal of work that remains to be done,” the judge said.
That may have influenced his thought processes when he had been asked to take possession of the stun gun to get it a charger, the judge said.
The court heard after the attack, Ray had lost his business, turned to gambling, he and his wife divorced and his main focus was then his family, particularly his young daughter who he cared for regularly.
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