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Tooled-up cabbie sentenced

PUBLISHED: 11:21 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 25 August 2010

A TAXI driver who had two weapons hidden in his cab when he arrived at an American military base has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service. Anthony Gymer, 52, of Stirling Close, Sidcup, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court last Thursday after a jur

A TAXI driver who had two weapons hidden in his cab when he arrived at an American military base has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

Anthony Gymer, 52, of Stirling Close, Sidcup, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court last Thursday after a jury found him jury.

The court heard that security staff at RAF Lakenheath, in Suffolk, searched his vehicle and found a canister of pepper spray and an extendable metal baton.

He was arrested and charged with having an offensive weapon, and a second offence of possessing a prohibited weapon.

Gymer admitted possessing the pepper spray but denied having the baton. The taxi driver, who had no previous convictions, told police that the only time he had used the baton was to help lever a fan belt.

Sentencing Gymer, Judge John Devaux said he was satisfied that Gymer had known that both weapons were in the taxi, despite initial statements which referred to him being confused about their presence.

Judge Devaux said: "They had been there for many months and were there to be used if the situation arose when you needed to defend yourself."

However, the judge said he accepted that Gymer had been unaware of the seriousness of possessing the weapons and accepted that they had been intended for defensive purposes only.

The weapons had been given to Gymer by a family member concerned for his safety after Gymer was assaulted while driving in London.

Gymer was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, forfeit the weapons and pay £900 prosecution costs.

He will also have to pay the cost of his defence during his trial which has yet to be

calculated.

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