A female private hire driver has avoided jail time after a policeman was zapped by a stun gun which was disguised as a torch when he discovered it wedged between seats in the vehicle.
Mum-of-five Jayne Bird lied about the weapon claiming she thought it was just a torch.
Bird, who works for Delta Taxis in Liverpool avoided jail because of the impact it would have on her autistic son. The minimum jail term for such an offence is five years.
The court heard how the officer pulled over Bird’s car on the morning of June 7. The officer was due to perform a routine taxi or private hire inspection when he spotted what he thought was a torch wedged between the drivers seat and the door.
Whilst attempting to pull the item out, he received a shock up his arm, causing severe pain.
Bird was arrested and during questioning said that the item was brought through customs from China and didn’t think it would get through.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Bird later suggested she meant to say she was surprised an item like that could be imported, after buying it online for £8.
She said that it was not intended to be used as a weapon and that she only wanted a strong torch to use for her job at night.
Bird accepted that when she first tested the item, it made a noise and vibrated. She admitted possession of a disguised firearm, on the basis she did not know it was a stun gun.
Her claim was rejected by prosecutors and Judge Robert Trevor-Jones ruled against her, saying he found her claims “incredible” and that he believed she knew it was a weapon.
Judge Jones said the officer suffered “excruciating pain”, underlining the danger of the weapon.
Bird is the primary care worker for her 12-year-old son who has autism, and it was on those grounds that the decision was made to hand her only an 18 month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to attend a 10-day rehabilitation course and complete 160 hours of unpaid work.