TO all intents and purposes it looks just like an outdated phone found tucked away in the back of a draw.
But when Hampshire police examined it further they found it capable of more than just an irritating ring tone.
Primed with powerful electrodes at the top, the fake mobile phone was actually a high-powered stun gun designed to disable with a discharge of 50,000 volts.
Officers found the device, which resembles the Sony Ericsson K95 mobile phone, while searching the home of drugs runner Wesley Walters following a covert operation.
Southampton Crown Court heard how 36-year-old Walters had been arrested hours earlier after supplying four wraps of heroin to an undercover officer making test purchases.
This was part of a police campaign, Operation Fortress, aimed at stamping out drug-related crime blighting city communities.
An officer initially met Walters at the Six Dials Roundabout in Southampton and then later near The Avenue where he supplied him with two wraps of the class A drug on each occasion.
But when police searched his home, they found the stun gun in a cupboard drawer.
Although not charged up, it was in full working order and had the capability of one of Hampshire Police’s Taser gun, which are designed to disable dangerous criminals before they can do harm.
As the search progressed, officers then unearthed a police-style metal baton.
Walters, of Rampart Road, Southampton, later admitted two counts of supplying heroin and one of possessing a disguised weapon and was jailed for five years.
The city crown court was told Walters had committed more than 20 previous offences, including inflicting grievous bodily harm, possessing an offensive weapon, assault and affray.
Handing down a five-year jail sentence, Judge Derwin Hope said it was clear Walters was part of a well organised and well drilled class A drugs operation in Southampton.
Speaking afterwards, DC Simon Woods from the Operation Fortress investigation team said: “We targeted Walters’ home after he sold heroin on two occasions to an undercover officer in March.
“At court he claimed the stun gun was bought as a novelty item. He said he’d misplaced the charger and then put the weapon at the back of the drawer and hadn’t used it since.
“Even so, he had access to a dangerous weapon which still held a charge and was capable of delivering a very powerful blow.
“We also found in his flat a policestyle metal baton. It’s unusual for a member of the public to have one in their possession but because it was in a private place, no offence was committed.
“The warrants we carried out as part of Operation Fortress were designed to demonstrate that Southampton is a hostile place for anyone coming here to deal drugs and commit acts of violence. At the same time, the campaign is finding long-term solutions to helping to reduce the demand for drugs.
“If you’re concerned about drugrelated crimes where you live, you can always speak to us in confidence.
The more we know, the more we can do about it.”
ILLEGAL in this country, these devices are made in China and can bought over the internet for as little as £15.
Police fear criminals are arming themselves with the weapons which are marketed as personal protection devices.
By pressing a button on the side, a powerful and disabling electric charge can incapacitate a victim within an instant.
The gun found in Walters’ home was called a Kelon 95 and has a discharge of 50,000 volts, equivalent to ones used by the police.
But fears are growing that weapons can disable victims with a million-volt charge may be in circulation. These could cause fatal heart attacks.