Sus­pended prison sen­tence for man with il­le­gal gun

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ‘when I Saw The Car I Burst Out Crying’ -

A civil engi­neer, who lives on a Mer­sham farm called Sioux, has avoided a five-year prison sen­tence for il­le­gally own­ing a gun.

Rhys Parry, 40, legally held a num­ber of shot­guns and firearms which he used to kill rats and shoot at tar­gets.

But when the po­lice were called out af­ter a bust-up with his part­ner, Ni­cola Smith, he told them he had hid­den two air pis­tols nearby. When of­fi­cers ex­am­ined one of them – a .22 Bro­cock ME38 mag­num – they told him it had been il­le­gal to own one for nine years with­out a li­cence.

Parry faced a min­i­mum of five years in­side prison, but a judge at Can­ter­bury Crown Court al­lowed him to keep his free­dom say­ing there were “spe­cial cir­cum­stances”.

Prose­cu­tor Jim Har­vey said in July last year of­fi­cers went to Parry’s home fol­low­ing a “do­mes­tic ar­gu­ment” and asked if he had any weapons.

Parry, who ad­mit­ted the fire- arms of­fence, said he had stashed two air pis­tols be­hind a diesel tank. The court heard that one of the weapons could be owned with­out a li­cence but the sec­ond had a self-con­tained gas can­is­ter which was out­lawed in 2004.

Peter Heath-Glenser, de­fend­ing, said Parry had “un­wit­tingly” com­mit­ted an of­fence.

He bought two weapons, “one le­gal and one il­le­gal”, but the change in leg­is­la­tion did not get much pub­lic­ity and he has since “sur­ren­dered” his li­cences.

Judge Adele Wil­liams, who heard that Parry spent a num­ber of years at farms in Aus­tralia and was un­aware of the change in the law, told Parry that “it was a great shame” he hadn’t sought ad­vice from a po­lice of­fi­cer about the le­gal­ity of the mag­num – as he had done on trans­port­ing the shot­guns in and out of the county.

The judge sus­pended the 12-month jail sen­tence for two years, but or­dered Parry to do 100 hours of un­paid work for the com­mu­nity and pay £350 court costs.

Terry Lee Clark, for­mer land­lord of The Fox pub (aka The Wind­mill)

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