A MAN chased a rival down the street with a stun gun after accusing him of flirting with his girlfriend.

Ashley Walber was so furious that he grabbed the stun gun, which he had bought online from China, and pursued him along High Street, Great Lever, in the early hours of September 2 last year.

At Bolton Crown Court Walber, aged 31, of High Street, pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal stun gun and was given a suspended prison sentence.

Neil Ronan, prosecuting, told how police were called out by worried residents, who had seen the pursuit.

"On arriving they found a man out of breath," said Mr Ronan.

Walber admitted he had had a stun gun.

"He told police he discarded the stun gun on a path near bis home," said Mr Ronan.

Walber was arrested and, when interviewed, claimed he had become angry because a man had been at his house who was was being over familiar with his partner.

"He had asked him to leave on a number of occasions because he felt he had been flirting with his girlfriend," said Mr Ronan.

Walber admitted that he had activated the stun gun but said he only did so to "intimidate" his victim and was 6ft away from him when it was discharged.

The court heard that Walber has previous convictions, including one dating back to 2007 for possessing an imitation firearm.

Walber told police that he had bought the stun gun from China to use in self-defence.

"He thought that, with it coming through customs, that it was legitimate to purchase it," said Mr Ronan.

Colin Buckle, defending, told the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh: "He made a horrendous error of judgement.

"He was faced with a situation which, he says, caused him to lose control."

Judge Walsh sentenced Walber to 12 months in prison, suspended of two years and ordered him to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work and participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

"You immediately, having disposed of the gun, accepted that you had been in possession of it," the judge told Walber.