Tayside and Central Scotland

Falkirk man guilty of buying stun guns on web

An electrician who bought three stun guns on the internet "to see how they worked" is facing jail.

David Ruane said he intended to "reverse engineer" the shock devices out of curiosity.

The 49-year-old, from Falkirk, was caught after Border Force officials at Heathrow Airport opened a parcel that had been sent to him from Poland.

It contained a stun gun disguised as a torch. Two further devices were found at Ruane's house.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told the airport officials were monitoring the 2014 pre-Christmas post when they intercepted the package addressed to Ruane.

Prosecutor Jemma Eadie said: "They found a stun gun inside that had the outward appearance of being a torch, with electrodes round the rim of the torch."

The depute fiscal said the "torch", which arrived in the UK on 3 December 2014 was forwarded for examination to police in Scotland, where it was confirmed to be a prohibited weapon under the Firearms Act.

Gadget interest

At dawn on 22 December last year, police raided Ruane's former home in Stenhousemuir.

They found two more stun guns also disguised as torches in the pocket of a leather jacket belonging to Ruane, and a can of CS spray in a coat belonging to his wife.

Ruane was arrested and taken to Falkirk police station.

Miss Eadie said: "He was interviewed and told the police he was someone who was interested in gadgets and he used the internet to search for things.

"He said he was an electrical engineer and he found these sort of things interesting.

"He said he was going to 'reverse-engineer' them to try to understand how they worked."

'Serious matter'

Ruane, a first offender, pleaded guilty to possessing and attempting to possess prohibited weapons.

Simon Hutchison, defending, handed the court three references about Ruane from work colleagues and his employers.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell deferred sentence until 10 December for social work inquiries, and continued Ruane's bail.

He said: "This is a serious matter. I require to obtain background reports before I can determine the appropriate sentence."

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