Wales

Bangor man jailed for stealing Taser from police officer

Barry John Roberts Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption CCTV showed Barry John Roberts picking up the Taser and walking away

A man who stole a Taser stun gun from a police officer has been jailed for 18 months.

Barry John Roberts, 37, pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a prohibited weapon. It has not been recovered.

Judge Huw Rees told Caernarfon Crown Court that the potential for its misuse is "a matter of grave concern".

The theft happened after a plain-clothes police officer tried to search another man on the High Street in Bangor on suspicion of misuse of drugs.

A scuffle broke out, and a crowd gathered.

CCTV showed Roberts, of Penrhyn Avenue, Bangor, picking the Taser up and walking away.

Ryan Rothwell, defending, said it was an "opportunistic" offence and "stupid mistake" when Roberts was heavily medicated on diazepam.

He said Roberts "panicked" after his girlfriend had warned he was going to jail and he hid the Taser behind a pub in the city.

"He doesn't know if it will still be there," Mr Rothwell remarked.

The holster and cartridges were later recovered at an address in Caernarfon, where the defendant occasionally stayed.

Judge Huw Rees said: "Even if you are correct and you deposited it behind a public house just off the high street, that means it could be in anybody's hands, a drug addict, a child."

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