Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/04/mobile_phone_stun_guns_court_cases/

Is it a phone? Is it a Taser? No, it's a cattle prod!

Novel explanation for mobile stun gun

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Phones, 4th August 2010 17:38 GMT

A Queensland man yesterday pleaded guilty to possession of a Taser disguised as a mobile phone.

In his defence, Carl Townroe claimed the device was a cattle prod and not in disguise. Mind you, he also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, so the weed may have got to him.

Tasers are nasty things and we can think of no legitimate reason why a civilian should have one, let alone one that pretends to be a phone. Neither can Australia's Customs and Border Protection, which last December intercepted a consignment from China of 20 electric-stun-guns-pretending-to-be-phones.

Their intended recipient, Michael Van Hout, 44, a Gold Coast resident, was fined $8,000 yesterday for illegal importation.

We are perhaps being a little loose with the word "Taser", which is a brand name of a highly reputable company that likes to shock people.

No-brand electric stun guns, such as those contained in Van Hout's parcel can be much more powerful, and that means much more dangerous, than official Tasers. ®