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Woodbridge: Man is fined after admitting firearms certificate offences

PUBLISHED: 15:12 17 June 2013 | UPDATED: 15:12 17 June 2013

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Police discovered a 74-year-old man had committed offences under the Firearms Act after he reported losing one of his guns, a court heard.

Graham Philip Baker, of Campsea Ashe, near Woodbridge, admitted failing to comply with conditions relating to a firearm certificate and a shotgun certificate.

Ipswich magistrates fined Baker £1,000 for not securely storing firearms and ammunition. He had also not told police he had changed his address between December 2011 and February 2013.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court the offences were uncovered after Baker went into Woodbridge police station on February 8 to report the loss of a Stensby 12 bore shotgun.

On February 19 a firearms enquiries officer visited Baker’s home. During the visit she checked the security of his firearms and found the gun cabinet was not secured to the wall.

A shotgun was also leaning on the wall beside the cabinet and not inside it as it should have been.

The court heard the keys to the cabinet were on top of it and Baker’s wife admitted she had opened the cabinet, giving her access to the guns.

During a subsequent police interview on April 15 the officer also discovered Baker had failed to notify police he had moved house in 2011.

Mr Ablett said Baker was at a loss to explain how the Stensby 12 bore had been mislaid. He realised it had gone on January 26 when he went to his gun cabinet at the end of the season.

Baker also told police he had not got round to putting away the gun found beside his cabinet when the officer had visited his home.

Baker added that his house move had been complicated and stressful, and he had become distracted.

Representing himself, Baker, a gun licence-holder for around 30 years, said: “We had the most horrendous removal where we were forced to move quickly.

“I’m afraid I did take my eye off the ball, there’s no question.”

In addition to his fine magistrates ordered Baker to pay £85 costs and £15 to the victims’ fund.

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