Breach of firearms laws lands Ulverston man with jail term
Last updated at 17:58, Sunday, 13 January 2013
A MAN paid dearly after taking a gun with him when he went for a pint.
Andrew Moore went to a pub with his unloaded air rifle zipped up in a canvas bag.
However, he was barred from having a weapon for five years, having been given a prison sentence in the past.
The 44-year-old has now been given a four month prison term, suspended for 12 months, with 12 months supervision and a requirement to undertake a six months alcohol treatment programme following his appearance at Preston Crown Court yesterday.
Moore, of Little Kings Head, Ulverston, had been committed by magistrates to the higher court, having admitted an offence of having an air weapon while prohibited. Mr Tom Lord, prosecuting, said Moore was not allowed to have a firearm for a certain period, having in the past been given 20 weeks imprisonment for affray and a public order offence.
On November 26 last year he had a .22 calibre air rifle with him when he went to the Knights of St Columba pub, in Barrow.
The air rifle was in a zipped canvas bag, the court heard.
It was unloaded and Moore did not have any ammunition. When later interviewed by police he said he was not aware that he should not have had a firearm.
He spoke of having bought some land where he wanted to make a small holding and place sheep on it. However, the land was riddled with vermin and he had wanted an air rifle to deal with it.
He said the firearm had been bought from a fireman for £150.
His girlfriend had refused to let him keep it at her home, so he had taken it with him when he went for a drink at the pub. Staff had taken the air rifle off him.
He said he wasn’t aware of the law, not having been told about it.
He had no other firearms offences on his record. Mr Brian Williams, defending, said when the 20 weeks sentence was passed, Moore had been released that same day, due to having served time on remand.
He said: “He is adamant that he was never given anything in written form advising him of his obligations and the prohibitions, but ignorance of this is no defence whatsoever.
“This was not a deliberate flouting of the prohibition, or the law.” Mr Williams said the firearm didn’t require the owner to have a licence.
It could be legally used on private land and could be bought by an 18-year-old.
Moore now had sheep on his land and hoped to put cattle there too.
He added: “The firearm was for a perfectly legitimate use, to try and get rid of rats.
“The irony is that he has been a slaughterman and holds a licence to use, in certain places, probably a far more lethal weapon than the one bringing him before the court.”
The judge, Recorder Stephen Parker, said in passing sentence: “This was not a minor infringement. It is, however, at the bottom end of seriousness for cases of this nature.”
First published at 13:14, Sunday, 13 January 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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What a complete waste of public money!
Air rifles are firearms?
On what planet?
The same one that tells people CO2 is bad and secondhand smoke is dangerous.