Camouflaged man caught with weapons in town centre

Nicola Woolnough pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

Nicola Woolnough pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man dressed in camouflage clothing was caught with an air rifle, a lock knife and a hand axe in Brandon town centre, a court heard.

Carl Robinson, 37, was initially stopped by military police in the town’s High Street on September 8, 2019, with the air rifle wrapped in a cloth and a rucksack on his back, magistrates in Ipswich heard.

Robinson, of Riverside Way, Brandon, was compliant with police and a search of the rucksack revealed a lock knife and a small axe.

Lucy Miller, prosecuting, said Suffolk police were called and Robinson was arrested.

When questioned Robinson told officers he had gone to Brandon Wood for survivalist training with a friend.

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He admitted he had consumed around half a bottle of spiced rum during the morning and then became dehydrated and stopped to rest.

His friend left and it was when Robinson was making his way back from the woods that he was stopped, the court heard.

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In police interview, Robinson told officers he used the weapons for recreational sport and not to hurt anyone.

He said he went to a secluded area of the woods to do some bushcraft and did not use the air rifle to shoot animals as he was a vegan.

The court heard that Robinson was originally from North Yorkshire and had served in the military, taking part in a tour of Afghanistan from 2000 to 2003.

He admitted to “bottling up” his mental health issues, Ms Miller told the court.

At Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Robinson pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm in a public place and two charges of possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place.

The court heard that Robinson had a previous conviction for possessing a bladed article in 2014.

The ‘two strikes’ measure creates a mandatory six month minimum sentence for a second conviction of possession of a bladed article.

Magistrates ordered an all-options report from the Probation Service.

Magistrate Graham Higgins warned Robinson that the matters were “very serious”.

Robinson was granted unconditional bail by magistrates and will next appear at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on October 2.

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