A SAFETY-CONSCIOUS married couple were sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone.
Ileana Mitarel and her husband Foad Soltan bought the innocent-looking device at a market in Egypt and were convicted at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday January 9.
Ms Mitarel kept the fake phone, which contained two powerful electrodes, in her handbag to protect herself.
The pair denied the charge and did not appear at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday January 8 for the start of the trial.
The following day the jury convicted them in their absence and they were sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a prohibited weapon.
Prosecutor Justin Bearman said: “She was taken to the police station and it was while she was there that her bag was searched and a mobile phone was taken out of her bag. It was handed over by the officer who searched her bag and he got a shock from it. He discovered it was a stun gun.”
The married couple lived in Lyndhurst Close, Neasden, and were arrested on separate matters on July 17 last year.
When Mitarel, who is Romanian and aged 51, arrived at Wembley Police Station her bag was searched and an officer got a small shock from the device, which was kept in a case.
Her husband, who is Egyptian and aged 32, arrived shortly afterwards and they were both charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.
Evidence read out in court from the officer who searched Mitarel’s bag said: “I was handed the object which appeared to be a mobile phone. I saw the screen was fake and was plastic. I pressed one of the buttons on the side and an electric current came out of the phone and caused a quick, sharp pain. The electric current stopped and I was aware it was a taser which had been in her bag.”
The device was a Kelon K95 device with two electrodes which emitted a blue light when activated.
In her interview Mitarel said: “When I went to Egypt everyone has one, I bought it in Egypt. They are in the market on display. I thought it was a telephone, five pounds I paid. I thought it would pinch a little bit like a bee. I thought this phone did something extra, like a light. We were there in January, February. I put it in my luggage like other presents. I kept it in a box with some perfume, it looked pretty in its case. My intention was to take it to Romania to take to my father as a present. My husband said this is to defend myself. I didn’t take him seriously, I leave it there.”