Inmate loses bid for freedom after appeal

Matthew Bandoo
Matthew Bandoo
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A Sheffield man caught with more than 100 tasers, stunguns and CS gas canisters has failed to clear his name.

Matthew Jason Bandoo, aged 30, ordered the consignment of outlawed weapons - disguised as torches, lipsticks and mobile phones - from China, but they were detected by UK customs officials.

He was arrested in a pre-planned operation when the items were delivered to his home.

Bandoo, of Mount Street, Sharrow, was jailed for five years at Sheffield Crown Court last February after admitting prohibited weapon and firearm offences, as well as possessing a class B drug.

But this week he attempted to have his conviction overturned at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, claiming he was wrongly advised by his lawyers when he admitted the offences.

During his original hearing Bandoo said the weapons were never meant to be delivered to the UK, and were intended for lawful distribution in France, but later admitted the offences.

Three senior judges rejected Bandoo’s bid for freedom, saying his challenge was ‘entirely without merit’.

Lady Justice Arden said Bandoo had ‘no viable defence’ to the charges and had been properly advised.

“We consider that this application is entirely without merit,” she added.

When he was jailed Detective Constable Bradley Ward said ‘dangerous weapons had been made to look like everyday objects, concealing the potentially life-changing damage they could do’.

He said it was ‘unclear’ what Bandoo had planned to do with them.

Five years earlier Bandoo lodged a complaint against South Yorkshire Police after undercover officers damaged his car when they tried to get into his vehicle when he was visiting a house on Melrose Road, Burngreave.

The graduate, with a degree in youth work, helped with an anti-gun project aimed at keeping youngsters on the straight and narrow.