Stoke & Staffordshire

Thomas Kavanagh guilty over 100,000-volt 'torch' stun gun

Birmingham Airport
Image caption Thomas Kavanagh had just returned from holiday when he was arrested at the airport on 12 January

A businessman has been been found guilty of having a "10,000-volt" stun gun disguised as a torch.

It was found in the Tamworth home of Thomas Kavanagh following his arrest at Birmingham Airport in connection to a firearms and drugs probe, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.

He admitted possessing the item, but denied it was deliberately designed to look like a flashlight.

Kavanagh, 51, was bailed until his sentence on 2 September.

The prestige car dealer, who is from Dublin but has lived in the UK for 15 years, said the stun gun had been bought by one of his sons during a school trip and he had later confiscated it.

Kavanagh was detained by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers after getting off a plane following a family holiday to Mexico on 12 January.

'Extremely dangerous'

The court had been told the stun gun was pink and had 'police' written on it.

A scientist concluded its discharge was "in the region of 10,000 volts".

Prosecutor Simon Davis told the court Kavanagh had a "lengthy criminal record" in the UK and Ireland for offences including possession of a firearm, making threats to kill, assault, and breach of the peace and fraud.

NCA lead investigator Peter Bellis said: "These types of weapons are extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. This is why they are prohibited in the UK.

"Our wider investigation into money laundering, drugs and firearms supply continues."

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