A REDDITCH dad who brought a taser home from holiday ‘as a joke’ has had his tough five-year jail term backed by top judges.
Andrew Mark Boakes, 48, bought the weapon lawfully abroad but illegally imported it into Britain.
He was jailed at Worcester Crown Court in April for possessing a disguised firearm.
The five-year term is the automatic minimum punishment for anyone caught with prohibited firearms – save in exceptional cases.
On Wednesday (September 21) three Appeal Court judges ruled there was nothing exceptional about Boakes’ case and he would have to serve his sentence.
Boakes, of Birchfield Road, was arrested after police searched his home and discovered the taser, which was disguised as a mobile phone.
He said he had acquired it on holiday and considered it nothing more than a joke, never intending to use it as a weapon.
But Mrs Justice Patterson told London’s Appeal Court it was “capable of incapacitating a healthy adult for up to 15 minutes”.
His crime was made worse by the fact he had shown the taser to his two young sons, said the judge.
He even showed them a video in which he “used the device on himself”.
There was a risk the children might have gone looking for it, added the judge, who was sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mrs Justice Carr.
She said: “There was no suggestion he had anything other than an innocent reason for possessing the firearm.”
The weapon had been “bought lawfully on the Continent but imported unlawfully” into Britain.
But she concluded: “The sentencing judge had to impose the five-year minimum term unless there were exceptional circumstances.
“The judge was entirely right to find there were no such exceptional circumstances.”
Boakes’ sentence appeal was dismissed.