Man found with stash of illegal weapons at Norwich airport, court told

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd. Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
6:30 AM

A 49 year-old man was found with four stun guns disguised as mobile phones and other items including five knuckledusters in his luggage when he was stopped by border control officers at Norwich airport, a court has heard.

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A man was found with a stash of illegal weapons, including four stun guns disguised as mobile phones, when stopped at Norwich Airport, a court heard.

John Sayer, 49, from Canary Scaffolding, on Ace industrial estate, Stratton Strawless, near Norwich, was also found with five knuckle-dusters, two extendable batons and another stun gun, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Sayer, whose wife is from Thailand, had just returned from a trip to Thailand via Amsterdam, when he was stopped at Norwich airport and his luggage searched on May 21, last year.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the prohibited items were found among clothing in his case, and were seized by border control officers.

He said that four of the stun guns looked like Smart phones.

“What looked like an Apple i-Phone is in fact a stun gun, which gives an electric shock and is used to incapacitate people. He had no legal reason for possession of these items.”

He said that Sayer had a previous conviction in May, 2010, for possessing similar items and said that was evidence the jury may wish to consider.

Mr Youell said when asked about the weapons, Sayer claimed he had not realised the items were in his luggage, as there had been a mix up in Thailand. He said his wife was staying on in Thailand and there had been confusion over a lost passport.

”He said there was a mix-up and one of his companions had lost his passport.”

Mr Youell said Sayer claimed the items has ended up in his luggage accidently.

However Mr Youell said: “The prosecution say he clearly must have known these items were in his luggage. He was intentionally bringing them into this country.”

He added: “He had a number of items in his luggage. He must have known they were there.”

Sayer has denied possession of all the prohibited weapons.

Giving evidence, border control officer at Norwich airport Robin Bostin, told how he had helped search the luggage of Sayer and found the items to one side of his case.

He said he was suspicious of the phones, which turned out to be stun guns, and said: “They did not have the feel of a conventional mobile phone,”

He said that he also found five knuckle-dusters and two extendable batons and two laser pointers, which he was concerned could be used to distract aircraft.

He said he had seized all the items and Sayer was arrested on suspicion of importing offensive weapons.

Cross-examined by John Farmer, defending, he said he was not aware of any travelling companion being with Sayer at the airport.

The trial continues.

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