A man who tried to import stun guns and pepper spray into Canada has been given a year-long conditional sentence.
Scott Joseph Waterman is shown in court today. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram
Scott Joseph Waterman, 32, was sentenced today at provincial court in St. John's.
The sentence, handed down by Judge Lori Marshall, includes 18 months' probation. He's also banned from having firearms for 10 years.
Marshall went along with an agreed recommendation by Crown prosecutor Bill Howse and defence lawyer Randy Piercey.
Waterman pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawfully importing restricted weapons into the country, under the Canadian Customs Act.
He was charged after a package containing four stun guns and pepper spray were detected by X-ray at an airport in Montreal on Dec. 19, 2012. A controlled delivery was then made to Waterman in this province. He told police they were novelty items which he bought at a flea market in Clermont, Florida, where he and his wife vacation annually.
"It was just stupid," Waterman said in court. "It was wrong."
In suggesting a conditional sentence, Piercey said he was surprised that people are going to jail up to two years for such offences.
He said Waterman is a successful businessman who owns three businesses, including a retail store.
"He did not bring them in (Canada) to commit a robbery," Piercey said.
"He bought them at a flea market and didn't realize the seriousness of this."
Marshall said the restricted weapons had "no legitimate purpose and constitutes a danger to the public."
She said courts must consider protection of the public.
"While stun guns are not lethal, they inflict pain and harm on others."
However, she said, Waterman accepts responsibility for what he did.