Stun guns bought for protection

A STUDENT illegally bought two stun guns on the internet to protect his girlfriend who was suffering racial abuse and threats of violence in Sheffield.

Instead of contacting police, Kariuki Mathu ordered two stun guns and an incapacitor spray from a US website.

But the Sheffield Hallam University student was arrested for importing illegal weapons after his package was intercepted at Coventry Airport.

Mathu, of Napier Street, Sharrow, did not know he was doing anything wrong when he ordered the items online, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Nicholas Neale, defending, said the couple were living in a fairly rough area and he decided to act when his girlfriend asked him about protection.

“The culture from which he comes does not trust the police in the way we do here. It was a genuinely naive act. There was no warning on the website that there may be any difficulty in importing these items.”

Mathu, who had no previous convictions in the UK and had a certificate of good character from the Kenyan police, admitted three counts of improperly importing goods.

He was given a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, plus 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £340 towards prosecution costs.

Recorder Patrick Palmer said: “If there was the least suspicion these weapons would be used in a criminal offence, you would be going to prison for very many years.”