Suspended sentence for Barry man who had stun gun and CS spray
A BARRY man has been given a suspended jail sentence, after he admitted possessing a stun gun and CS gas spray, assaulting a police officer and possessing cocaine.
Philip Anthony Cunnington, of College Road, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year, when he appeared at Cardiff and Vale Magistrates Court last week (October 10).
The 49-year-old arrived at court in a wheelchair, having broken both legs after attempting to lift a car in a Barry pub car park in July.
His solicitor Garth James told the court that he still needed physiotherapy for his injuries, and a custodial sentence would have made the treatment difficult. The court heard the offences took place on April 8.
Claire Stitson, prosecuting, said PC Nicholas Williams approached the defendant who was sitting in a car in Bell Street, as he believed he was taking drugs.
“PC Williams approached the driver and said ‘Stop, police, stay where you are’, as the defendant appeared to be hiding items by his side,” Ms Stitson told the court.
When the officer approached Cunnington he ‘kicked him in the leg and groin area’.
“He pleaded guilty to that on the basis that he was intoxicated and didn’t mean to cause harm to the officer,” she said.
When police searched the vehicle they found three clear plastic bags containing cocaine, and during a search of his home they found a small canister of CS spray (known as tear gas), as well as a ‘black torch with metal prongs’ later identified as a stun gun.
He admitted possessing the weapons, which he described as ‘boy’s toys’, claiming that he was unaware they were illegal.
Garth James, in mitigation, said Cunnington kicked out at the police officer ‘as a reflex action’ and ‘accepts the officer did identify himself and the defendant shouldn’t have done what he did.
He told the court Cunnington had purchased the stun gun ‘some time ago’ and it had not been adapted in any way. The CS gas canister was in the flat when Cunnington moved in, and he admitted he should have thrown it away.
Mr James said Cunnington ‘bitterly regretted’ his intoxication and actions on the day and apologised to the court.
Chairman of the magistrates Judith James sentenced Cunnington to two concurrent six-month terms for possessing the weapons, with both sentences suspended for a year.
He was also placed under a four month, 9pm to 6am, electronically monitored curfew (until February 10, 2013). No separate penalty was imposed for assault or possessing cocaine. He must pay £50 compensation to the police officer.