'I was curious,' says Longford man who bought taser gun off internet for €13

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Courthouse.

A man who bought a taser gun off the internet for €13 said he did so because he was 'curious'

A Longford man who was found in possession of a taser gun disguised as a knuckleduster has told a court he bought it after becoming “curious” when seeing it for sale on a Chinese website for €13.

Ryan O’Keeffe, 4 Canal Walk, Longford pleaded guilty to having the device in the driver’s front side draw of his vehicle at Park Road, Longford on March 15 2019.

Sgt Paddy McGirl, prosecuting, said Mr O’Keeffe’s vehicle was stopped by Garda Keith O’Brien and searched.

During the course of that search, Sgt McGirl said the accused suddenly told Garda O’Brien “to be careful” as he reached down to the side pocket of the driver’s door.

It was at that point Garda O’Brien recovered the implement which was disguised as a knuckleduster.

He said when it was sent for analysis, a report came back confirming it to be a certified taser gun and an appliance capable of “incapacitating someone for a number of minutes”.

In defence, solicitor John Quinn said Mr O’Keeffe had no previous court appearances and the taser gun had been purchased out of novelty.

He was likewise keen to stress that Mr O’Keeffe was not privy to any ongoing feuding in the town.

Mr O’Keeffe, under direct questioning from Judge Seamus Hughes, admitted he purchased the taser for just €13 from Chinese website, Wish.

“I was having a browse and seen it there and was just curious,” he said.

Judge Hughes questioned Mr O’Keeffe’s insistence that he had never discharged the taser, saying in most circumstances the first course of action a person would take would be to determine if it worked or not.

“You knew it was a taser, so why did you go and buy it?” Judge Hughes asked.

“I didn’t know it was the real thing,” came the reply from Mr O’Keeffe, who was wearing blue jeans and a grey top.

Judge Hughes said Mr O’Keeffe could count himself fortunate he was not looking at a custodial spell for the incident.

“The only thing that’s saving you from prison is that you don’t have any previous convictions,” said the judge.

He consequently issued the 22-year-old with a suspended three month prison term.

“At least I will keep you on the straight and narrow for three years if that (sentence) has the desired effect,” he told him.