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Man who had stun gun at airport told that it's public service or jail

By Nevin Farrell

A man caught trying to bring a knuckleduster, stun gun, extendable baton and pepper spray into Northern Ireland through Belfast International Airport has been ordered to complete 240 hours of community service - or face five months in jail.

Conor Seeley (23), who is understood be from Lurgan in Co Armagh, but whose address was given to the court as Charlestown Road, Portadown, was previously convicted of eight charges following the seizures in July last year.

Previously, at Antrim Magistrates Court, he was found guilty of four counts of being concerned in the importation of an offensive weapon; two of possessing prohibited weapons and two of possessing offensive weapons in a public place, namely Belfast International Airport.

Seeley appeared before District Judge Liam McNally at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday for sentencing, although the full facts of the case were not outlined to the court.

A defence lawyer said his client had been intoxicated when he bought the items and tried to bring them through customs.

He said there was a "certain innocence" to the way his client had acted but he was not challenging the conviction and appreciated the consequences of what he did. He said Seeley had a limited record.

Judge McNally told the court he had considered, on the last occasion, imposing an immediate custodial sentence "because the offences would quite easily justify that".

But instead he ordered Seeley to complete 240 hours of community service.

As he ordered the destruction of the seized weapons, the judge told Seeley if he did not complete the order, "I will replace it with five months in custody".

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