AN amateur boxer has escaped jail after being found in possession of a Taser by armed cops.
Oliver O’Toole, of High Bank Road, Winshill, was woken by weapon-wielding police who had learned of the Taser’s presence following a tip-off from the 23-year-old’s girlfriend.
Burton Magistrates’ Court heard how an innocuous row between O’Toole and his partner led to her notifying the police that he had the weapon at an address in Pavilion Grove, Burton.
Father of two O’Toole, a former member of Burton Amateur Boxing Club, had originally claimed that he had bought the electric stun gun, but later confessed it belonged to someone he knew, and that he had lied to protect the person’s identity.
Magistrates were told that the pair had a row at the address, and that O’Toole’s girlfriend had wanted him out of the house, before calling police.
O’Toole had completed a suspended sentence for a violent offence only weeks before the Taser was found, on December 10 last year. However, he escaped a spell behind bars, with magistrates instead opting for an 18-month community order.
Sonia Lawrence, defending, said: “Somebody had brought it onto the premises. The reason he said different in police interview was to protect the person who left it.
“There is no suggestion that he ever attempted to use it. He was asleep in bed when he was woken by an armed response officer with a gun in his face, which he found terrifying as you can imagine.
“They had a ruck, that is the top and bottom of it.”
Ms Lawrence told the court O’Toole had taken steps to change his life since his conviction in 2010.
She added: “He has changed his life. He no longer drinks to excess like he did. He’s an amateur boxer, he has a title fight coming up. He’s a father of two who plays a very active role with the older child.
“All in all he is a decent citizen.”