Northern Ireland

Stun gun used by Derry man 'for back pain'

A barrister has told a court his client used a high-powered stun gun on himself to try to alleviate chronic back pains he has suffered for years.

Hugh Brolly, 56, from Old City Court in the Brandywell area of Londonderry, appeared at the city's magistrates court on Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty to possessing the stun gun, contrary to the 2004 firearms act.

Brolly was stopped at a police checkpoint on 19 July 2013.

Inside his car, police found a box that contained a K95 stun gun.

He was arrested and during a police interview admitted possessing the weapon.

'Bizarre to say the least'

His lawyer said Brolly did "not have a propensity for violent conduct nor had he been engaged in any illegal activity in relation to the stun gun".

"On the face of it his explanation may seem bizarre to say the least," he said.

"However, it transpired that he has had significant back problems for a number of years.

"Through research he learnt that the injection or generation of an electrical pulse into his seized back muscles created an alleviation of the pain.

"While it does sound bizarre, he has used this device as an unorthodox method of pain relief for his ongoing and significant back problems."

'Not advisable'

Judge Barney McElholm said that the K95 stun gun was, according to a forensic report, a high-powered weapon that discharged between 12,000 and 18,000 volts.

He said that while muscle spasms could be treated by the use of muscle activators, it was not advisable to use a stun gun for that purpose.

He imposed a fine of £750 and ordered the destruction of the stun gun.

Brolly, who has 18 previous convictions and receives £1,100 in benefits per month, was given six months to pay the fine.