Drug addict kept stun gun for ‘protection’
November 12, 2012
A builder was given a 50-week suspended sentence after police seized a stun gun, drugs and cash from his home.
Drug addict Greg Stringer, 34, of Oakengates, Bracknell, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court sitting at Reading Magistrates' Court on Friday, November 2.
He admitted possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, possession of a Class A drug and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Police raided Stringer’s former home in Prescott, Hanworth, on October 3 last year and seized cannabis worth up to £2,500, ecstasy worth £55 to £70 and £330 of cocaine from a saucepan on the cooker.
The court heard the self-employed builder returned home during the search and pointed officers to the drugs and to a functioning stun gun on the mantelpiece, but could not explain where he had got a ‘substantial’ amount of cash, including counterfeit notes.
Nicola Wacey, defending, said police found him to be ‘a very honest and upfront man’.
She said he had smoked cannabis all his life and always dabbled with cocaine, more recently to numb the pain of his grandfather’s death.
“He is a very isolated man who uses cocaine with friends to try to make him feel better – he bought it for himself,” she said.
Stringer’s criminal record includes assault, a ‘large number’ of burglaries and he had been jailed for driving offences but had not committed crime for 10 years.
Miss Wacey added he was living with his mum and had a young daughter but was separated from her mother.
Judge Ian Grainger, sentencing, read case notes which said Stringer had been a cocaine user for more than 15 years and would buy it in large amounts to save money.
Stringer said he would give it to friends for small amounts to ‘cover costs’ but claimed he never made a profit.
However, he made a ‘low level’ of profit by selling cannabis to friends on a ‘social basis’ and he said he owned the stun gun for ‘protection from burglars’.
Judge Grainger said: “The most concerning aspect is the possession of a dangerous weapon – the drugs and weapons combination is a dangerous one.
“Drugs destroy lives and promote all kinds of crimes.
“You are clearly an isolated individual who sells drugs in order to maintain friendships.”
Stringer was sentenced to 36 weeks for cocaine possession, 16 weeks for cannabis to run concurrently, and 14 weeks for possession of a dangerous weapon to run consecutively.
The 50-week sentence was suspended for 18 months on the conditions that he does not commit any offences and he must take part in drug rehabilitation for a year with regular drug tests and reviews.
He will be tagged for three months with a curfew between 9pm and 5am and will be supervised for 18 months.