A Wooler man has been ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work for failing to store weapons securely.
Christopher James Kane, 47, of Tankerville Terrace, admitted that from February 25 to March 4 this year, a rifle and shotguns belonging to him had not been kept in a locked cabinet secured to the fabric of a building – a requirement of the firearm and shotgun licences.
Berwick Magistrates’ Court heard that the guns had previously been stored legally at Kane’s business premises – Glendale Nurseries in Wooler – where he had lived, but that the business had got into difficulty.
The bailiffs were sent in to take over the property and Kane had had to find alternative, rented accommodation for himself and his family.
When the firearms department made inquiries about where his weapons were being kept after he left the Glendale Nurseries property, Kane told them that his rifle was at the Weldon gun room and the shotguns were being stored by friends.
He later admitted this had not been the case.
Mr Mitchell, defending, said: “He dismantled the guns and put the mechanical parts in a locked filing cabinet.
“It took him until March 4 to get permission from the landlord of his new, rented premises to have the gun cabinet bolted onto the fabric of the house.
“We’re dealing with the fact that for just over a week, the guns were stored, dismantled, at his new house and not in a secured cabinet.”
The court heard that Kane had had a distinguished career in the military; he had been with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers from 1985 until 1998, and was a Sergeant in the sniper patrol.
He was given a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £150 court costs.