Trial begins of Wisbech councillor and former town mayor on firearms charge - reporting from Cambridge Crown Court

PUBLISHED: 13:50 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:31 18 July 2014

Jonathan Farmer

Jonathan Farmer

Archant

The trial has begun of the Wisbech councillor – and former town mayor- who was found with a Second World War gun at his home.

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

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.

That morning, officers with search dogs arrived at the home at 7.15am.

When Farmer was asked if there were firearms at the premises, he retrieved the gun from the brown leather holster in a cabinet on the first floor landing.

He told the officers “I think it has been deactivated”.

Farmer was arrested and, under questioning, explained the hand gun was a gift from a veteran of the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, who had taken it from a German officer.

The case, which is being heard at Cambridge Crown Court, hinges in whether the handgun should be classified as a weapon or, as the defence argues, an antique – there is an exemption under the 1968 act for guns which are considered an ornament or curiosity.

Michael Proctor, prosecuting, said the handgun was in excellent condition and, if given the correct ammunition, could still be fired and injure or kill somebody.

Addressing the jury, he said: “It is up to you to decide whether this is an antique or a modern weapon. The gun is not antique or obsolete; it is a fully-functioning modern weapon despite its age.”

The jury has been shown the gun, which contained two inert bullets (they were not live as explosives had been removed from them).

The case continues.

It is expected to last two days.

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:29

Two Wisbech men who suffered fatal injuries in a crash on the A47 have been named.

Yesterday, 10:35

Today’s meeting of the general purposes committee of Cambridgeshire County Council is preparing the coming year’s budget. The Tory controlled council will approve a rise of 2.9 per cent. Here the leader explains why.

Yesterday, 17:08

Firefighters from Ely, Wisbech, Whittlesey and March were awarded for their innovation, leadership and exemplary service at the annual Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Excellence Awards.

Yesterday, 15:24

Nursing staff who lobbied MP Steve Barclay, a newly appointed health minister, revealed 425 signed postcards have been delivered to his constituency office from those opposed to the pay cap on wages.

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter