Man caught smuggling weapons is sentenced
PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 November 2010
A HOLIDAYMAKER who attempted to smuggle weapons through Bristol Airport in his suitcase has been sentenced to a community punishment.
Liam Dimond, aged 20, was caught with 10 weapons, including a nunchuck and stun gun when he returned to British soil following a sunny break with his parents in Bulgaria on August 28.
UK Border Agency officers also found two flick knives, two throwing stars, two knuckle dusters and two telescopic friction lock batons in his case.
Dimond had previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of possessing an offensive weapon and one count of possessing an electrical incapacitation device when he appeared at North Somerset Courthouse last month.
Magistrates were told that Dimond, of Patchway in Bristol, had said to police he bought the weapons abroad without realising they were prohibited and intended to decorate his room with them.
Owen Strickland, defending, had told the court: “The fact is he is a naïve young man and didn’t realise to purchase this in Bulgaria was illegal but accepts he should not have them, on advice, in a public place in this country.”
Appearing at Bristol Crown Court on Monday, Dimond was handed 150 hours community punishment, a six-month supervision order and was ordered to pay £200 in costs.
James Caldwell, who heads investigations for the UK Border Agency in the South West, said: “It is an offence to attempt to smuggle weapons of this nature into the UK and ignorance of the law is no excuse.
“The weapons this individual had in his suitcase are extremely dangerous.
“The UK Border Agency is at the forefront of the fight to stop illegal weapons, drugs, other contraband and illegal immigrants entering the UK and our officers work around the clock at ports and airports to keep them out of the UK.”