A young man who was caught carrying a candle lighter he’d purchased on Amazon faced a two-month wait to find out if he would be charged with a firearms offence.
Wiltshire Police decided it would drop the case after the 21-year-old was arrested following a bag search during a routine traffic stop in Devizes on 28 August.
Officers found a candle lighter in the bottom of the third-year university student’s rucksack resulting in him being held in custody on suspicion of carrying a Section 5 firearm due to concerns it could be an electroshock weapon (commonly known as a taser).
The man explained to police that he had purchased the item for £8.99 on Amazon and had used it to light barbeques over the summer. He was later released under investigation.
On 9 November, more than two months since the arrest, he was informed that he would not be prosecuted for the offence but it remains unclear if the device is prohibited.
His mother, who does not wish to be named, told Wiltshire 999s that she was “so relieved” by the news that her son would not face prosecution, potentially ruining his future banking career.
“I was distraught to hear that my son had been arrested for such a serious offence. But I knew there must have been a mistake because he’s never been in trouble with the police”, she said.
Adding: “When he was released from custody, he told me what had happened and that he had been arrested for carrying a £8.99 candle lighter which he purchased on Amazon.
“He had been using it to light barbeques throughout the summer. It was just left in the bottom of his bag.
“I’d really encourage people who own a similar item to check if they are legal. They may be for sale on a UK website and appear to be simple lighters but some could land you in trouble.
“As a family, we’ve spent more than two months worrying about the outcome of the police investigation. We are all really pleased that the police decided not to take it any further.”
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