Thursday, 11 December 2014

Bangkok Wedding Tripper Returned With Electric Stun Gun And CS Gas

A Bishop's Stortford man, who returned from a pal's wedding in Bangkok with an illegal stun gun and c.s. gas in his luggage and racially abused the customs man who stopped and searched him at Heathrow Airport, has received a suspended prison sentence.

James William Forbes, 28, a National Grid employee, of Waytemore Road swore at the UK Border Agency officer and said: “I see you let all the foreigners in and picked the English out.”

When told by officer Manzar Akhtar he would be subject to a body search after the weapons were found in his luggage Forbes added: “Do you want to look at my arse? That's what you muslims do.”

He pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, namely the stun gun disguised as a torch and the c.s. gas and one count of racially aggravated harassment at the airport's Terminal Five on February 11.

Prosecutor Mr. Ravinder Johal told Isleworth Crown Court it was 6.20pm when Forbes, who was travelling alone was stopped in the 'nothing to declare' green channel and his luggage checked.

When asked for the combination to his suitcase's lock by officer Akhtar the defendant replied: “F*** off. You heard you c***. Do what you f***ing want.”

The suitcase was cut open and the functioning electric stun gun found along with a 'NATO' c.s. gas can and a poster depicting a variety of handguns.

When quizzed by police Forbes expressed surprise about the weapons being found in his luggage, explaining the gun poster was for his bedroom wall and that he had consumed ten miniature bottles of wine on the long-haul flight.

His lawyer Miss Marion Mullen said: “This defendant comes from a very, very respectable family. He is very, very remorseful indeed.

He was out with friends for a wedding in Thailand. They stopped at a market on the way to the airport and he bought the items, which are legal in that country and never intended to use them.

If it had not been for excessive drinking with friends in Thailand this offence would never have happened.”

Forbes was in danger of being imprisoned for a five-year statutory minimum, but Judge Aiden Mannon ruled there were “exceptional circumstances” to suspend the prison sentence.

These items were quite legal for you to purchase in that country and they would not have been put to a nefarious purpose here.

Consider yourself highly fortunate.”

Forbes was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to perform 150 hours community service, comply with twelve months probation, which includes a Drinkwise course and pay £400 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.”

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