Men jailed after police uncover firearms haul
- Credit: Cambs police
A Meldreth man has been jailed following a raid on his home, where police uncovered a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition.
Officers raided a site in Kneesworth Road on November 17 last year, following information suggesting firearms were being illegally kept along with stolen plant machinery and caravans.
Within Arran Ayers’ plot, officers found two rifles with serial numbers that didn’t match the weapons, four shotguns registered to a James Matthews, one sawn-off shotgun, one shotgun barrel and large quantities of ammunition including shotgun cartridges.
At court, 25-year-old Ayers argued that Matthews had previously stored firearms in his shed but that on the day of the police raid, he did not know they were going to be in the container.
During his interviews, Matthews told police he had given three of the shotguns to Ayers believing he had a certificate - but didn’t know how the fourth shotgun registered in his name had got there.
However, at court he used the defence that he was under duress from Ayers to hand over the weapons.
At Cambridge Crown Court, a jury found Ayers guilty of possession of a firearm - less than 30cm, two counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate, four counts of possession of a shotgun without a certificate and possession of ammunition without a certificate. On Thursday last week, he was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison.
Matthews, who is from Trumpington, was found guilty of four counts of transferring a shotgun unlawfully.
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On Friday last week, the 33-year-old was sentenced to three years and two months in prison.
Detective Constable Sam Payne, who investigated, said: “The sentences passed reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed.
“These firearms, in the wrong hands, were capable of inflicting serious harm and I have no doubt that they would have been used to commit crime on the streets of Cambridgeshire.
“As a result of this investigation the public and local community are now safer and a large number of illegally held guns have been removed from circulation in the criminal community.”
For information about UK gun laws or firearms and shotgun certificates, visit https://bit.ly/3282g23.