Man loses appeal over decision to revoke his shotgun licence

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 72-year-old farmer who was holding a shotgun when he opened his front door to armed police officers has lost his appeal against a decision to revoke his shotgun certificate.

Police officers initially went to speak to John Gooderham at his home in Morleys Lane, Gislingham in October 2013 after he allegedly assaulted an employee at the Agri Centre in Pakenham by grabbing him by his tie during a long standing row over a piece of farming equipment, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When uniformed officers knocked at his door they allegedly heard him say: “I can hear rattling outside. It could be burglars so I’m going to get my gun,” said Simon Gladwell, for the respondents.

The officers heard what they thought was the sound of a shotgun being close and decided to leave.

Armed officers were sent to the address and when Gooderham came to the door he was holding a shotgun, said Mr Gladwell.

Gooderham surrendered the gun and allowed the officers in and when he was searched they found some shotgun cartridges in his pocket.

During a search of the premises officers found another shotgun in the kitchen and a third gun beside Gooderham’s bed and not in a gun cabinet where they should have been stored, said Mr Gladwell.

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Gooderham was subsequently cautioned for his failure to comply with the conditions of his shotgun certificate and in March last year he was given a 12 month conditional discharge after he admitted an offence of assault by beating in relation to the incident at the Agri Centre.

Mr Gladwell also referred to a number of earlier incidents involving Gooderham in which he had allegedly blocked the entrance to the Agri Centre with a tractor, fired a gun from a road at pigeons causing a nine-year-old girl’s pony to bolt and threatened a rambler.

Richard Kennett, a police firearms manager said he had reccomended that the Chief constable revoke Gooderham’s shotgun certificate becaue he felt there was a real risk of his guns falling into the wrong hands because they weren’t properly stored in a gun cabinet and also of the guns being misused.

Giving evidence Gooderham claimed that initially he hadn’t realised police officers were at his front door and when he did discover they were there he hadn’t thought to put his gun down.

Deputy Circuit Judge Peter Jacobs sitting with two magistrates dismissed Gooderham’s appeal against the revocation of his shotgun certificate.