A WARRANT has been issued for a man caught with a stun gun disguised as a torch in Swindon town centre.

Tyler Vernon, 26, pleaded guilty last month to possession of a disguised firearm and possession of a bladed article on Regent Street on January 14, 2019.

He was due before Swindon Crown Court yesterday for sentence together with co-defendant Jordan Dunn, who had admitted affray.

But Vernon, of Naunton Road, Walcot, failed to turn up. Emma Handslip, defending, told Judge Paul Cook she had not heard from her client.

The judge apologised to Dunn, saying he was not able to sentence him without his co-defendant present. A warrant was signed for his arrest without bail.

Last month Vernon was warned the offence to which he had pleaded guilty carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

Judge Jason Taylor said: “You know the serious position you are in. It is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for the Taser unless your advocate can persuade the court it would be unjust to do that.”

"Mr Dunn, I'm going to order a pre-sentence report. All options are open to the court."

Gareth James, for Dunn, yesterday asked for his client to be sentenced in Vernon's absence. "Mr Dunn fully accepts his part in this. It's quite clearly captured on CCTV."

The lawyer's request was turned down by Judge Cook.