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Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

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Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Hammerhead » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:18 pm

Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo

Monday, February 20, 2012
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Grimsby Telegraph

A FORMER Territorial Army Sergeant – who served for 18 years and completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan – has been jailed after admitting to firearms offences.

Grimsby Crown Court heard that John West, 48, of Cotswold Drive, Waltham, had admitted three offences – possession of 237 rounds of prohibited ammunition,

possession of a .22 Anschutz rifle without a certificate and possession of 4,877 rounds of other ammunition for a firearm without a certificate.


Philip Evans, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that the weapon and ammunition had been discovered during a police raid on West's home on September 20 last year.

The court also heard that the prohibited ammunition constituted 237 hollow-point rounds, which are designed to explode on impact.

Richard Butters, mitigating, described the case as a "storm in a tea cup", adding that West had found the cache of prohibited ammunition and the rifle in a car that had been presented for scrap, while working for the family business, some 18 years ago.

He told the court that West had been "unsure what to do" and had taken them home for "safe keeping" after which he simply "forgot" about them.

He added West was a hard working man, with no previous convictions, who lived for his wife of 21 years and their two sons.

The gun had been in three pieces and had a component missing when he found it – a state in which it had remained until it was seized by the police.

However, the court heard that when it was handed it over to a weapons expert, it was "easily" reassembled and fired.

In relation to the 4,877 rounds of other assorted ammunition, Mr Butters told the court West had been in possession of it for almost 30 years, first obtaining it when he was an 18 or 19-year-old member of a gun club.

He said: "When he had the ammunition originally, it was properly licensed. It has simply lapsed over the years.

"When he was 21 he joined the TA and was shooting less and less. He put the ammunition in a cupboard and simply forgot about it.

"Over the years it was never used, nor was it intended to be used."

Judge Jeremy Baker QC, said that while he did not believe West had intended to use the weaponry or that he was holding for someone else, it was still a "very serious matter".

Sentencing him to 16 months in custody – of which he will serve half, before being released on licence – Judge Baker said West was an "intelligent man" and should have been aware of the "real risk of harm" his "recklessness" could have led to if he had been burgled and the guns and ammunition had fallen into the hands of the "criminal community".

He also ordered that the weapon and ammunition be destroyed.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby xl_target » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:18 am

Sentencing him to 16 months in custody – of which he will serve half, before being released on licence – Judge Baker said West was an "intelligent man" and should have been aware of the "real risk of harm" his "recklessness" could have led to if he had been burgled and the guns and ammunition had fallen into the hands of the "criminal community".


Lets make criminals out of honest men.... because his house might have been burgled. What kind of twisted logic is this?

Obviously he should have followed the law but there didn't seem to be any intent to commit a crime there. Sigh!
“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby timmy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:35 am

When I think about the grave threat to the community and society that a .22 Anschutz rifle poses, I tremble all over. Surely such an instrument of mass destruction could upend the whole scheme and operation of a nation -- not!

The gun had been in three pieces and had a component missing when he found it – a state in which it had remained until it was seized by the police.


So with all of the problems in the UK now, this is the dire threat to life and limb that demands sending the citizen to jail?

<shakes head>

Unbelievable what stupid ideological prejudice (prejudice = making judgments without regard to facts) will make otherwise rational and civilized people do and say.
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Corjack » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:59 am

I never realized what a threat to society I was. Here is part of my rimfire ammo.

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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Hammerhead » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:06 am

That's enough to take over the whole country , when to attack this big nanny state , give me call .

Send pics to that stupid judge and sure the judge will have heart atteck - Haji
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Katana » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:54 am

Imagine if this scenario was played out in India......... sophisticated weaponry seized, live rounds recovered, weapons meant for maoists...........the media would have a field day! And a blanket ban on everything in the concerned state or district. :roll:
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby The Doc » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:10 am

Having worked and lived in Grimsby for sometime, I imagine, this is how it would have happened . Ridiculous though !

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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Vikram » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:03 am

Gentlemen,

You all know that I am as pro-gun as you you are at least in theory. In this case I have a slightly different view,however.

One of the conditions for issuing Firearms Certificate in UK is safe storage,almost invariably a metal cabinet fixed to wall/ground.Important as the houses can be very easily broken into and it is not uncommon.

The .22lr might be a humble pipsqueak in the ballistic pecking order but it still can be used to harm.

Remember the Cumbria spree shooter Derrick Bird used a .22lr and a shotgun to kill 12 people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbria_shootings

As the judge observed, that rifle and ammo could have easily fallen into wrong hands and even if it is one life lost due to that rifle,that crime is on the sergeant's head.As we all know, ignorance of law is no defence.

What I take objection to is the sentence handed out. He could have given him a suspended sentence or a fine or both.Sentencing a war veteran who served his country honourably and without any prior convictions to such a harsh punishment is "heartless" as described above.

It is not that there is no precedent for it.

Warning: Try to focus on the topic and read the story.Do not let your eyes to wander. :lol: :mrgreen:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... stead.html

http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/Ex-s ... story.html

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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby winnie_the_pooh » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:38 pm

............said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is an ass - an idiot".
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby timmy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:10 pm

I agree that guns should be stored safely. And, the legal principle that one who does not store a gun safely bears some responsibility if the gun is obtained in an unauthorized fashion and someone is hurt is present in many other areas of life: For instance, if a child stumbles into a swimming pool and drowns, the swimming pool's owner bears responsibility if it is found that he did not take reasonable measures to prevent such an accident. I see nothing wrong with this principle applying to firearms. Also, surely a .22 can kill or injure: any gun owner should know this and is culpable if he does not.

What I object to in this case is what seems to be a paranoid attitude toward the gun owner, as if they must be subjected to the legal equivalent of being squashed like an insect by the legal system. I'm not advocating breaking the law at all. Rather, I strongly object to laws that strain at a gnat (such as in this case) while swallowing a camel (such as winking at crooked politicians, taking bribery and kickbacks, allowing large companies to circumvent laws to pollute the environment, etc.) It seems to me that the weightier matters of public interest and safety ought to be addressed before some ordinary joe is hanged, drawn, and quartered over a violation concerning a .22, in which nobody was actually hurt.

If the man has broken the law, then he's subject to a penalty, but ought not the penalty have some proportion in keeping with the gravity of his action? That's all I'm getting at here.
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Re: Jail for former TA Sergeant who had gun and ammo -

Postby Vikram » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:21 pm

Timmy,

Well said as ever and we are in agreement here.

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