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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Cumbrian motorsport boss had canisters of illegal pepper spray - court

A motorsport boss has been fined £300 after he admitted possessing three canisters of illegal pepper spray.

Paul Bird, 45, owner of Paul Bird Motorsport Limited, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates' Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to the three charges.

The canisters were found at his home in Langwathby on April 24 when he was arrested by police for pursuing a course of conduct against his wife Lindsey, which amounted to harassment.

Prosecutor Adrienne Harris said: "Police found one of the canisters on a mantlepiece in the master bedroom. Two other canisters of the illegal substance were found in the wardrobe.

"When interviewed by police Bird said he had bought them from an internet site following a robbery at his home.

"He was unaware that they were illegal."

Bird's wife, Lindsey, was bound with cable ties, had her arm broken and bleach poured over her hands after two masked raiders broke into her home in December 2009.

The court was told Bird had bought the spray to protect himself and his family.

Gwyn Lewis, for Bird, said: "My client accepts his guilt but did not realise it was an offence.

"Since the burglary ordeal, my client has gone to the expense of fitting CCTV cameras in his house. Neither my client nor his wife feel particulary comfortable being in the house on their own. Something like this shakes the ground on which we tread."

Bird was fined £100 for possessing each of the pepper sprays and must pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £15. Magistrates' also ordered for the forfeiture and destruction of the pepper spray.

Bird will be sentenced for the harassment matter on July 23.

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