Weapon ban man found with guns

A MAN found with two airguns despite being banned from keeping the weapons after a stabbing conviction has avoided jail.

Police raided Jonathan Wilson’s home and found a Beeman airgun on a bathroom shelf and a BSA Scorpion airgun behind a bath panel.

On top of his kitchen cupboard was a tin of Spitfire air pellets.

Wilson, 21, was interviewed and claimed one of the weapons was already behind the bath when he moved in.

He added that the other gun had been bought by his girlfriend for “messing around with paper targets”.

Teesside Crown Court heard Wilson had been banned from keeping firearms for five years following his release from 30-months detention on June 27, 2007, for a stabbing committed in November 2005.

Wilson, formerly of Baden Street, Hartlepool, and now of Kitchener Street, Darlington, admitted two counts of possessing a firearm while prohibited from doing so and one of possessing ammunition, all on July 11 last year.

Robin Denny, mitigating, said: “It’s about the least serious of offences of its type, or it’s the least serious weapon in itself.

“There was no suggestion of any use of it.”

Mr Denny added that the wounding was his only previous offence and “it was obviously a matter of complete dread to him that he might be sent back to prison”.

He added Wilson was “making enormous strides to set up a business and have something to work for”.

Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Wilson to a two-year community order with supervision and 80-hours unpaid work.

He told Wilson it was clear he had “made every possible effort to make good and become a law abiding citizen”.

Judge Armstrong said that although Wilson had the guns for “messing about” he had been “extremely foolish” to have them before the five-year ban was up.