March 9 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
A Wisbech councillor and former mayor could face a five year jail term after being arrested and charged with possessing a firearm. He will appear before magistrates on Monday.
Jonathan Farmer was arrested during an early morning raid at his South Brink, Wisbech, home ten days ago. He was taken to the police investigation unit at Kings Lynn and later released on police bail.
A Cambs police spokesman said: “A 56-year-old man from Wisbech has been charged with possessing a firearm and is due to appear in court next month.”
Mr Farmer has notified the ruling Conservative group on Fenland District Council of his arrest and he has stood aside from his involvement in the local army and air cadet forces.
Police with search dogs arrived at his front door at 7.30am and told Mr Farmer that, acting on intelligence they had received, needed to know if he had any fire arms and they had a warrant to search his home.
Officers are thought to have removed a World War 2 German made Walthar PPK pistol from the Farmers’ home. It had been a gift to Mr Farmer from a veteran of the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy who had taken it from a German officer.
The councillor served as Mayor of Wisbech in 2008-9 and is a member of both Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council. His wife Susanah is acting town clerk of Wisbech.
Last year Mr Farmer collected his third degree by graduating in Law from Leicester De Montford University; he was awarded an upper second class honours.
He also has a BA Degree in Economics from Coventry University and an MA Degree in History from Birmingham University.
Mr Farmer is a former officer in the Territorial Army and served with the Regular Army in Bosnia.
In early 2010 he was a senior member of a an election monitoring team in war-torn Southern Sudan helping to validate the first free elections in 25 years
Mr Farmer said: “My life as it was has been pretty much eviscerated. Politics too are pretty much out, as of when I go to the crown court.”
He said his resignation from the local army and air cadets (whom he joined after leaving the TA) was to protect them from publicity surrounding the current case. Until last year he attended their annual camps.
Mr Farmer has a meeting later this week with both Fenland Council leader Alan Melton and his deputy Chris Seaton.
They are expected to explain that under the constitution of the ruling Conservative group at Fenland Hall, Mr Farmer can be expected to be suspended following his court appearance on Monday. A Conservative source said this applies to any councillor once they have been charged and appeared in court.