Jury retires to consider verdict against Wisbech councillor accused of possessing active Second World War gun

16:21 18 July 2014

Cllr Jonathan Farmer

Cllr Jonathan Farmer

Archant

The jury has been sent out in the case of a Wisbech councillor who kept a Second World War gun at his home for 25 years which he thought was deactivated.

The Walther PPK hand gun dating from 1941, which was discovered during a police search of Jonathan Farmer’'s home on January 10  this year.The Walther PPK hand gun dating from 1941, which was discovered during a police search of Jonathan Farmer’'s home on January 10 this year.

Jonathan Farmer, 56, of South Brink, Wisbech, faces one charge of possession of a firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act, which he denies.

The gun, a Walther PPK hand gun dating from 1941, with a barrel less than 12in in length, was discovered during a police search of Farmer’s home on January 10 this year.

The jury at Cambridge Crown Court retired this afternoon and was asked by Judge Gareth Hawkesworth to rule on whether the handgun is a weapon or an antique.

Michael Proctor, prosecuting, in his closing statement to the jury, said: “This gun fulfilled the category of being a prohibitively lethal weapon which can discharge bullets and injure or kill.

“It is not antique or obsolete.

“Farmer has more than a passing interest in guns and has handled similar guns in his years in the Territorial Army. He held it in the knowledge it is a fully-functioning and dangerous weapon.”

Stephen Harvey, defending, in his closing statement, said Farmer “unquestionably has a genuine interest in military history and it was not very difficult to conclude the gun is in fact a curiosity”.

He said forensic scientist Mark Mastaglio, who gave evidence yesterday, confirmed it was a significant piece of history.

Mr Harvey highlighted Farmer’s good character, describing him as someone who has given a lot of public service.

He added: “The gun, which has never been fired, was given to him by a friend who told him it had been deactivated. He didn’t question it.

“As to his failure to surrender the gun, if he was of the state of mind the gun was not an illegal firearm would had it have even passed his mind it was something he should do?

“The law is not here to criminalise people who have antique weapons in circumstances like these.”

More news stories

Yesterday, 22:42
Trees like this one will be removed from Wisbech market place

One of the biggest changes since it was acquired by the town council three years ago is under way with the removal – and replacement- of trees on Wisbech market place.

09:25
Jake Kane

A heartbroken mother is urging parents to kiss their children and tell them they love them as she marks her son’s first birthday since he died in a motorbike crash.

Yesterday, 22:41
park and ride map

Passengers using the park and ride into Cambridge city dropped by nearly three times the numbers predicted following the introduction of a £1 parking charge last year.

Yesterday, 17:00
Victoria Garner at the Wisbech Grammar School fashion show. Picture: TIM CHAPMAN.

Wisbech Grammar School pupils showed their flair at a fashion show with a difference - the outfits on display were made out of rubbish.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition