A DISCARDED item cost a taxi driver his job, his career and put him in the dock on a firearms charge, York Crown Court heard.

Andrew Finlay, prosecuting, said police found what appeared to be a mobile phone when they searched Phillip Graham Brayshaw’s home.

It was actually a stun gun and was examined by a police firearms expert.

“It was found to be charged and useable,” said Mr Finlay.

Brayshaw, 50, of Chaloners Road, Dringhouses, pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon capable of discharging something harmful, an offence under the Firearms Act.

His barrister Kate Bissett said Brayshaw had not disguised the stungun or arranged for it to be disguised.

He had been a taxi driver.

“It was left in the taxi,” she said.

“He has taken it home, put it in a drawer, thinking to get rid of it and forgot about it.”

His guilty plea cost him his job as it meant he could no longer hold a taxi driver’s licence, she said.

Brayshaw was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work.

He was also made subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting or going near a man who lives in a street near him for three years.

Mr Finlay said police found the stungun after the near neighbour made allegations that Brayshaw had assaulted him.

Police arrested Brayshaw and when they searched his house they found the stungun in a drawer in the bedroom.

There was no suggestion that Brayshaw had brandished it or used it in any way.

Brayshaw was charged with causing actual bodily harm to the other man and causing criminal damage to a door and wall.

He denied the charges.

Twice the case had to be adjourned for legal reasons on days when a jury stood by to hear the case.

On the third day the case was listed for trial the prosecution agreed to drop the case if Brayshaw accepted the restraining order.

After Brayshaw agreed, he was formally acquitted of the charges of causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

He had admitted the stungun charge months earlier.

Police found the stungun in Spring 2019.