Leading UDA loyalist David ‘Dee’ Stitt on Tuesday was fined £300 after he admitted having a taser
Leading UDA loyalist David ‘Dee’ Stitt was fined £300 on Tuesday after he admitted having a Taser.
Newtownards Magistrates’ Court heard how the prohibited weapon was found hidden in a tupperware box in the boot of Stitt’s Mini Cooper car, parked outside his home at Lord Wardens Park in Bangor.
A prosecuting lawyer told the court that when officers told 47-year-old Stitt having the weapon was a crime, he replied to police: “I didn’t even know that”.
Asked why he had the item during later interviews, Stitt told them it was for “personal safety, I’m under death threat”.
Defence Solicitor Darren Duncan said that having received “a significant number of warnings from the police” that he was under threat, Stitt bought the weapon, a Taser and torch combined, through Ebay, adding that even though it’s illegal, “it’s still available today”.
“He purchased it for that reason but when he bought it, he realised that from his point of view, it wasn’t very powerful so it was put in a box in the boot of his car and that’s where it was found,” said the solicitor.
Mr Duncan told the court the Taser had “never been used on anyone” and conceded that while Stitt had a previous conviction, “it’s of some vintage” dating back 25 years ago.
He submitted that since his release from jail, Stitt has “made a positive contribution” to society having gained a masters in social science, was the chief executive of a local charity for 10 years and was now a co-ordinator for a local business which employs six people.
“He is highly unlikely to come back before the court in any regard so I would ask you to deal with the matter today,” Mr Duncan suggested to the judge.
District Judge Mark Hamill said even though Stitt’s previous offence was 25 years ago, “the thing is he now has an up to date record”.
Imposing a £300 along with an offender levy of £15, the judge ordered the weapon to be destroyed and allowed Stitt 16 weeks to pay the fine.
Stitt, clean shaven and wearing a knee length brown coat over a suit, shirt and tie, left the court saying “thank you” to the judge.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story.