Published: 00:01, 25 October 2016
A former police officer found himself under arrest after illegal weapons were seized from his home, a court heard.
Dexter Coleman-Mitchell, now a company director, had five stun guns disguised as mobile phones and two handguns.
One of the stun guns was in his girlfriend’s handbag next to the bed, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Coleman-Mitchell could have faced a statutory minimum sentence of five years but a judge jailed him for two years and four months.
Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson said officers went to Coleman-Mitchell’s home in Austin Road, Gravesend, on December 1 2015.
He was a gun collector and held a firearms certificate but the other weapons were discovered.
Mr Stevenson said the stun guns were capable of firing 12,000 volts causing a muscle spasm, disorientation and possible collapse.
They were made in China and available on the Internet.
The Kimar and GAP 9mm handguns fired blanks but the barrels had partial blockages. They could, however, fire projectiles with lethal effect.
When interviewed, Coleman-Mitchell, who has a one-month-old child, claimed he had put the stun gun in his girlfriend’s handbag as a joke.
He said they had been sent to him from the United States by a friend. He added he did not know what they were and thought they just made a noise.
“He said he wanted to hand them into the police but was embarrassed to do so because he knew people who worked there,” said Mr Stevenson.
“There is no evidence any of the items had been used.
Appearing for sentence on his 25th birthday, Coleman-Mitchell admitted five offences of possessing a disguised firearm and two of possessing a prohibited firearm.
Shawn Esprit, defending, said it was an important feature of the case that as a young man who had been in the police he was an appropriate person to have a firearms licence.
“He has a legitimate interest in firearms,” he said. “He didn’t solicit the stun guns.”
Coleman-Mitchell was given a commendation for his “cool and calm behaviour” while serving in the Metropolitan Police in 2011 in London riots.
He left the force after his mother encountered financial difficulties and then set up a business, Electronic Products Network Ltd at the Springhead Enterprise Park in Gravesend.
It now had eight employees and a turnover of £1.2 million.
Mr Esprit submitted that an exceptional course could be taken with the imposition of a suspended sentence.