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Norfolk dad's 'games' with weapons land him in court

PUBLISHED: 06:39 06 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:37 02 July 2010

Alfred Freestone who admitted weapon's charges at a Norwich Magistrates' Court hearing

Alfred Freestone who admitted weapon's charges at a Norwich Magistrates' Court hearing

Peter Walsh

A man who is fascinated by firearms played with weapons adapted to discharge noxious gases and taser stun guns as part of a game to see how much pain he could withstand, a court has heard.

A man who is fascinated by firearms played with weapons adapted to discharge noxious gases and taser stun guns as part of a game to see how much pain he could withstand, a court has heard.

Father-of-four Alfred Freestone's offending came to light after police carried out a search at Canary Scaffolding, in Stratton Strawless, where Freestone works, on November 20 last year.

Officers found two CS canisters in a vehicle parked on the premises belonging to Freestone, while two taser stun guns were later recovered from an address where Freestone lived.

Freestone, 48, of Wade Close, Aylsham, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Thursday where he admitted one charge of possessing a weapon designed or adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid, namely CS Spray, and another of possessing a weapon designed for the discharge of taser stun guns.

Anna Crayford, prosecuting, said the guns were later examined and while one was not working because of a “lack of charge”, the other did have a taser capability. The canisters were also examined and found to contain small amounts of pepper spray.

Mrs Crayford said Freestone liked to play games with the weapons with other people at the site.

She said the spray was let off in the office to “see who could stay in there the longest”, while the guns were also played with to see who could withstand the most pain.

Calvin Saker, mitigating, said Freestone was a professional man who spent at least 10 years working as a supervisor for Cable and Wireless, where he was in charge of between 25 and 30 people.

Mr Saker said Freestone gave up work to become a full time carer for his former partner, mother of their four children, who suffers from bipolar disorder as well as another condition whereby she sleep walks during the day.

As a result, Mr Saker said, Freestone's former partner needed “24 hour care” to make sure she “didn't do anything dangerous to herself or other people”.

Mr Saker said his client was a firearms licence holder who was “very interested” in firearms and the mechanics of how they worked.

He liked to disassemble weapons, put them back together and explain how they worked.

Mr Saker said Freestone did not know the items were prohibited before he was arrested and, if he had done, he would have applied for a licence. He said the taser guns were found at his house and were “not carried about with him”. He added: “He would occasionally, when he was in the company of other people, put it on his arm and all it would do is make his arm go dead.”

In relation to the spray, Mr Saker said he would let it off in the office with two to three other people to see “who could last the longest”. He added that they were “not particularly wise fun and games” and his client had realised he should not be doing it.

Alan Lusher, chairman of the bench, said that in order to help with making a decision about sentencing, a report needed to be drawn up. The case was adjourned until March 11 when Freestone must reappear. He was granted unconditional bail.

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