A young man who thought he was buying torches online was horrified when gardai told him he had illegally imported stun guns, a court has heard.

Ryan Kelly (21), of Blackditch Rd, Ballyfermot, bought the torches from the Wish.com shopping website and had intended to sell them on to make some money for a holiday.

The items were described as ‘shock devices’ and as torches with an electric shock.

There was nothing on the website or packaging that suggested they were illegal and Kelly expressed shock and horror when gardai told him they were stun guns.

Ryan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to importing firearms without a licence on an unknown date in May 2018.

He has no previous convictions and Garda Sergeant Darren Colleran said he was unlikely to come before the court again.

Judge Karen O’Connor said that Ryan had made a mistake in buying the devices and was otherwise a hard-working young man.

Saying it would be unjust to leave him with a conviction that would have devastating consequences for him, she applied the Probation Act allowing for no conviction to be recorded and placed Ryan on a bond to keep the peace for one year.

Judge O’Connor noted that Ryan had been summarily dismissed from his job when the offence became publicly known.

The court heard that Sgt Colleran then spoke to the employer and explained the circumstances and Ryan was given his job back.

The court heard that in May 2018, staff in the An Post sorting office became suspicious about the package from Malaysia and believed it contained stun guns.

A controlled delivery was made and then gardai came to the house and executed a search warrant.

The type-928 stun guns were seized and found to be in excellent condition. Analysis of each gun found it produced an ‘intimidating display of ionised electricity’ and also had a torch.

Judge O’Connor commended Sgt O’Colleran for the way he had dealt with the case.