TV man gives evidence at Ipswich trial

A FIREARMS expert from television's Antiques Roadshow has been called to give evidence at the trial of an Ipswich man accused of illegally possessing a pistol.

A FIREARMS expert from television's Antiques Roadshow has been called to give evidence at the trial of an Ipswich man accused of illegally possessing a pistol.

Joseph Harriman, one of three firearms experts featured on the popular show, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday that a Vincitor pistol found by police at the home of 49-year-old Paul Williams was an antique and not subject to firearms legislation.

The court heard that police officers went to Williams' home in Clarence Road, Ipswich, after an anonymous tip-off about the possible presence of firearms.

Maurice Aston, prosecuting, said officers found a number of replica and imitation firearms as well as the Vincitor pistol at the centre of the case.


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Mr Aston said when the handgun was assembled using parts found in a box in Williams' living room it was found to be in poor condition but in working order.

He said the defence case was that the gun was so old that it was an antique and, as a curiosity or ornament, was exempt from legislation.

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However, the prosecution claimed the gun wasn't an antique and Williams had no authority to possess it.

Williams has denied possessing a firearm in September last year without the authority of the Secretary of State.

Prosecution expert Huw Griffiths told the court that in his opinion the gun, made between 1915 and 1917, wasn't an antique. However, Mr Harriman, who was called by the defence, disagreed.

In police interviews Williams said the gun and its parts were part of a job lot, which included medals, he purchased for �30 at a War and Peace military fair.

He said he didn't know what the parts of the gun in the box were or what they did and he wouldn't have known how to start putting them together.

Williams chose not to give evidence during the trial.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict today .

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