Aggressive thug caught with taser disguised as a torch jailed for five years – West Midlands
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A “hostile offender” who was caught with a taser disguised as a torch before subjecting police officers to racial and homophobic abuse has been jailed for five years following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
Matthew Haylett, 44, and of Witton Road, Birmingham, appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 20 November 2019 where a jury found him guilty of possessing a disguised firearm, possessing Class B drugs and a racially aggravated public order offence.
On Friday 12 August, he returned to Wolverhampton Crown Court and a judge sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment.
At just before 7pm on 20 April 2019, a member of rail staff was walking through Wolverhampton railway station when he noticed Haylett arguing with two young men.
He overheard Haylett say, “I’m going to cut you up”, before reporting what he saw to BTP officers at the station.
The officers engaged with Haylett and upon searching him discovered a torch in his pocket with “police” printed on one side and “80,000w” on the other, as well as a small black plastic bag containing four grams of cannabis.
Upon inspection the item was identified as a taser disguised as a torch.
He was arrested and on the way to police custody he began peppering officers with racial and homophobic slurs. To one constable he said, “dirty stinking white dirty dog” and to another he said, “bloodclot lesbian”.
In interview Haylett said he found the item on a bus and was not aware it was a taser.
Detective Inspector Shani Plumb, investigating officer in the case, said: “How this device came into Haylett’s possession remains a mystery.
“However, there are no question marks over how despicable his behaviour was on that day. No emergency worker should be subjected to a torrent of abuse for simply doing their job.
“I am grateful to the member of rail staff who reported Haylett to our officers – his action has resulted in the seizure of a dangerous device and a hostile offender behind bars.
“Anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour on the railway should always report it to us. You can do so by speaking to our patrolling officers, texting 61016, or calling 0800 40 50 40.
“As evidenced in this case, we will always take action to ensure the UK rail network remains a safe environment for passengers.”