Published: 11:34, 18 May 2018
A company boss who tried to smuggle 199 disguised stunguns into Dover has received an eight year jail term - even though he was not in court.
Przemyslaw Dehr, 50, fled the UK months before his trial was due to begin at Canterbury Crown Court and has not been seen since.
A jury took just 15 minutes to convict him of two charges of trying to smuggle the illegal non-lethal weapons into the county, together with CS gas canisters.
The director of Eastbourne-based 3D Natalie Bedding was stopped driving his van into Dover Eastern Docks in October 2016.
Officials found two types of high voltage stungun disguised as torches – some marked ‘Police’ – hidden among the bedding in the white van.
Dehr was given bail but officials believe he hopped onto a ferry last November and disappeared into his native Poland.
If he is arrested he could be brought back to the UK and made to serve the sentence for the offences, which carry a maximum life jail term.
Charges of possessing illegal drugs - allegedly found at his home - were left on the file.
after Judge Simon James said the “sheer number” of disguised stunguns – which are legal in some European countries – forced him to the conclusion they were smuggled into Kent in order to sell them to the public.
More by this authorPaul Hooper