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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Carlisle drug dealer who had disguised stun gun cries as he gets prison term

A drug dealer caught with an electric stun gun disguised as a mobile phone has been jailed.

Benjamin Stout photo
Benjamin Stout

Benjamin Stout, 22, of Red Bank Terrace, Currock, Carlisle, appeared at the city’s crown court.

The court heard that on March 12 this year, police saw Stout in Orton Road, off Wigton Road.

They had been suspicious of the way he was behaving and searched him, finding 13.5g – just under half an ounce – of cannabis and a set of scales.

Officers then searched a property in Orton Road, where Stout’s girlfriend lived, and where, unaware to her, he had stored 10 bags of cannabis, each weighing around one oz. Brendan Burke, prosecuting, told the court: “She expressed her anger at having been used that way.”

The drugs would have had a street value of at least £2,687. However, Mr Burke added that it was unlikely that Stout had been street dealing.

“He was somewhat further up the chain.”

During a search of Stout’s own home, officers found the electric stun gun, which was disguised as a mobile phone.

This was tested by police, who found it could completely immobilise anyone within five seconds.

Stout had previously pleased guilty to charges of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of the weapon. The court also heard that these crimes were committed during the suspension period for a 12-month sentence imposed in October 2012.

On that occasion, Stout had admitted aiding and abetting a man involved in a drugs offence. He had pleaded guilty to aiding, betting or procuring a police staff worker to disclose confidential information and commit misconduct in a public office.

Elizabeth Muir, defending, said: “He is now 22 years-old and he has got himself into an extremely serious predicament.”

She added that Stout had started dealing cannabis after becoming a user of the drug himself.

Stout had originally claimed that the stun gun was not his but Mrs Muir said he now accepted it was his property.

She urged Judge Paul Batty QC, presiding, not to pass a sentence which would “crush all the hope he has”.

Judge Batty said: “You were not a simple street-level dealer of cannabis, you were dealing cannabis to others lower down the ladder and chain of supply.”

He also described the weapon as “effectively an electric stun gun”.

Judge Batty sentenced Stout to a total of five years in prison. Four of these were for possession of the weapon, with concurrent 12-month terms added for the suspended sentence and the cannabis charges.

Stout cried as he was led away by court officers.

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