Birmingham & Black Country

Pepper spray 'test' taxi driver given suspended sentence

A taxi driver who claimed to have used an illegal canister of pepper spray on himself to test his pain threshold has been handed a suspended jail term.

Fazal Sajjad Younis Khan pleaded guilty in May to possessing a weapon for the discharge of a noxious substance.

Prosecutors said Khan, 40, was a "prepper" which was "someone preparing to survive doomsday scenarios".

The private hire driver was given a six-week jail term suspended for a year by Birmingham magistrates.

Khan, of Whitmore Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, who was initially arrested under anti-terror laws, told officers he had bought four canisters of the spray online.

He was held in custody for seven days after the cans were found in a locked bedroom at his home.

The court heard last month he had previous convictions for robbery and wounding dating back to 1994.

Khan's solicitor Aftab Zahoor, told magistrates the defendant was unaware the canisters were illegal in the UK and there were "no warnings" about this when he bought them from a website.

"There is no evidence that he put anybody in fear or that he was participating in any form of violence," he said.

"At least two of these items were still in their packaging unopened and one item was used by the defendant upon himself."

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