A MAN who bought a mobile phone which had been turned into a stun gun to protect his family while holidaying in Turkey has been jailed.

Wisdom Andrew Bowers bought the device from a market stall in Turkey in September last year and foolishly decided to bring it home, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, heard.

The adapted phone, which gave off an electrical spark, was found by police searching Bowers’ home in Northallerton after he stole two pots of L’Oreal cream from Boots in Darlington on Wednesday (April 16).

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Prosecutor Alan Davison said staff at the store in Darlington spotted Bowers removing the pots from their boxes and hiding them in his clothing before leaving the store.

The stun gun was found on top of a cupboard in Bowers’ home on Romanby Road, the court heard.

Mr Davison said it gave off a spark as officers picked it up.

The court heard Bowers was sentenced to four weeks in jail suspended for 12 months in May last year after being convicted of two thefts.

Magistrates were also told Bowers had avoided being sent to jail after being convicted of stealing food for his family in February this year.

The bench decided he had used his last chance and sent him to jail for four weeks, with four weeks for possession of the illegal weapon and two weeks for the latest theft to be served concurrently.

Alan Green in mitigation said the stun gun was bought while Bowers was holidaying as he feared for his family during the upheaval in Turkey last year.

He said Bowers accepts he should have left it in Turkey.

Bowers was also ordered to pay £25.98 compensation to Boots after he is released from jail.

* Paul Robert Story, of Esk Road, Northon, Stockton, was jailed for three-and-a-half years last year after he was arrested smuggling a stun gun disguised as a torch through Leeds Bradford Airport.

Storey. who was intercepted as he returned from Bourgas in Bulgaria in July 2012, accidentally shot himself with the stun gun while on holiday when he was switching the buttons up and down.

He said he had bought it to provide protection for his girlfriend, who had previously been attacked.