Firearms bought on internet land gun collector in jail [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]
(Derby Evening Telegraph (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) AN antique gun collector was jailed after being sent modern replicas when he tried to buy American Civil War revolvers over the internet. Genuine antique weapons would not need certificates but Kenneth Whitehead failed to lodge an application when he realised they were copies, Derby Crown Court heard. Police found them in the top drawer of a dressing table in a bedroom of his home in Addison Road, Derby. Whitehead, 62, admitted having no firearms certificates and was sent to prison for six months. Recorder Adrienne Lucking ordered the destruction of six revolvers, which had been made to look like weapons dating to around 1861.
She told Whitehead: "These are serious weapons in themselves and can be used with lethal consequences."
The recorder pointed out that Whitehead had been jailed for 22 months in 1996 for two house burglaries and had been convicted of dangerous driving. She added: "With the background, there would be a serious question mark over whether you would have been granted a certificate."
Martin Hurst, prosecuting, said: "There is no suggestion it would be dangerous in the hands of Mr Whitehead. But there is the concern of a burglary and somebody could get hold of this dangerous weapon. "Similar weapons have been used in the murder of a number of people, including police officers. The prosecution accept he is a collector and was keeping them as a curiosity or ornament, but we don't want him to have them back." Whitehead ordered an antique Colt revolver over the internet. In August a parcel was intercepted on its way from New Hampshire.
Mr Hurst said: "It was not an antique, it was a replica of a Navy Colt revolver. It was bought as an antique but it was modern.
"Whitehead realised he should have had a firearms certificate. But having paid money, he didn't want to do anything to have it confiscated.
He didn't want to lose the money he had invested."
Stephen Tettey, mitigating, said Whitehead paid nearly Pounds 2,000 for one of the revolvers. "At the time, he believed it was not a prohibited weapon. The defendant didn't purchase anything other than what he thought at the time were legitimate antiques," he said.
He added that Whitehead was very careful to ensure nobody knew about the weapons in his home.
Mr Tettey added: "He takes precautions himself. He doesn't discuss his hobby with other persons, doesn't discuss the details with his partner.
"She was unaware of the type of items he possessed at their home. There was no ammunition at all. It was his intention those items would be kept as collectibles."
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