A man who imported prohibited weapons, did so because his girlfriend was afraid of being attacked by clowns after seeing images of such incidents on Facebook, a court has been told.
Saulius Cerniauskas, 38, of Brothertoft Road, Boston, admitted two charges relating to an extendable baton, four cans of CS spray and two of pepper spray, when he appeared at the town’s magistrates court.
Jim Clare, prosecuting, said the baton was in a parcel addressed to Cerniauskas and was seized by Royal Mail’s Logistics Centre on November 7 last year and the spray cans in similar parcels on January 10.
Both parcels had been sent from the Netherlands, he said.
Mr Clare said Cerniauskas was arrested on February 15 and his mobile phone was seized.
When interviewed he said he had ordered all the items together via the internet on the same occasion and that he thought they were legal.
He told police he had got the weapons for his girlfriend because of recent clown scares and she sometimes had to walk alone at night.
In a second interview, he admitted he had ordered the weapons on separate occasions and had repeated orders because they had not arrived.
Mr Clare told the magistrates the statutory penalty was a fine of £20,000 or six months imprisonment or both, but that penalty was really intended for people importing weapons commercially, which Cerniauskas was not.
Mitigating, Beris Brickles said Cerniauskas, a Lithuanian, had been in the UK since 2008, had worked all the time he had been in the country and supported his children in his home country as well as his partner in the UK.
Mr Brickles said that ‘for good reason, we have strict legislation to prevent the purchase of illegal weapons, but on the continent it is more liberal’.
He said Cerniauskas’ partner had to cycle home alone at night from work and felt vulnerable because of clown attacks she had seen on Facebook.
He said the weapons had been ordered purely for personal protection and no further weapons were found at his home.
The magistrates told Cerniauskas that his offences were ‘considered serious’ in this country and imposed a term of three months imprisonment suspended for a year and ordered him to pay £200 in costs and charges.
They ordered that the weapons be destroyed.