A WEAPONS collector was found with an illegal handgun and disguised stun guns shoved down the side of his sofa.

The stun guns recovered by police at Peter Hassall’s home looked like a BMW key fob and a torch and he told police he had bought them from an internet site.

And the Walther P99 pistol, while incapable of firing ammunition, could still fire irritants such as CS gas cartridges or pepper spray.

The weapons are illegal to possess and Kate Gaskell, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how they were found by police at Hassall’s home in Fortune Street, Bolton on September 28 last year.

“There were a variety of daggers on the window sill, in addition to which, down the side of the sofa tazer devices were found, one disguised to look like a BMW key fob,” said Miss Gaskell.

There were also two torch-like devices, one of which was discovered to be another stun gun and also at the property was the handgun, swords and nunchuks.

Hassall, aged 48, pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing illegal weapons.

Kevin Liston, defending stressed that the tasers found were low voltage.

“They are, surprisingly, readily available for purchase on the internet,” he said, adding that Hassall had bought his from the Wish site for £10.

He added that the devices and the gun had not been used.

“They were essentially ornaments gathering dust down the side of the sofa,” he said.

“It might be an unusual hobby but some people do collect items the nature of which were found in the defendant’s home. There is no evidence to suggest an intention to use them.

The court heard that Hassall has already spent time in custody awaiting sentence and could only be jailed for a short period.

Instead, Recorder Peter Atherton said it was in the public interest for him to be supervised in the community where work can be done to address his behaviour.

Hassall was given a 12 month community sentence during which he must participate in 30 days of rehabilitation activities.

The weapons will be forfeited and destroyed.