A 21-YEAR-OLD who had a taser disguised as an iPhone in his home has been jailed for three years.

Marcel Cross, of Chapel Street, Bicester, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a banned weapon on January 6 last year.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said police found a stun gun disguised as an Apple mobile phone in the hairdresser’s living room after receiving a call from his sister.

He told Recorder Richard Prior that Cross had made a reference to having the taser and going to her house with it during an argument.

The barrister said the device was charged when officers discovered it and emitted an electrical charge, although it had not been measured how strong it was.

Mr Walsh said when he was arrested the defendant said he bought the stun gun from a market for £10 and added: “I didn’t know it was illegal.’ The prosecutor added that possessing such a disguised weapon carries a five-year minimum prison sentence, unless there are exceptional circumstances. He also told the recorder that Cross has four convictions for seven offences, including one for causing grievous bodily harm.

Claire Fraser, defending, said her client had no idea how serious owning such a weapon was, and didn’t know it was against the law.

She said: “He bought it as a gimmick, something to show friends. It was a laugh and wasn’t meant to be serious.

“Mr Cross deeply regrets purchasing the item and said he never would have done it if he knew it was illegal.’’ But Recorder Prior said although the circumstances of the case were exceptional because Cross hadn’t realised it was illegal and never intended to use it, it was not enough for him to avoid a prison sentence.

Speaking on Monday in Oxford Crown Court he told the defendant he had a “past pattern of aggressive behaviour’’ and his sentence would serve as a deterrent.