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AN ENGINEER was allowed to build up a mail order arsenal of dangerous firearms, a court heard.

Police found unlicensed sub machine guns, a pistol and a revolver when they raided the home of David Bond, 36, Warrington Crown Court was told.

Originally the weapons were bought in a decomissioned state by Bond from Staffordshire-based Worldwide Arms Ltd.

But Bond used his expertise to make them fully operational, the court was told.

Bond, of Cherry Sutton Mews, Widnes, admitted three offences of possessing a prohibited weapon, possession of a pistol without a firearms certificate and two offences of holding ammunition without authority.

Jailing him for 12 months, Judge Stephen Clarke said: “It is alarming that these items can be purchased through the post. In many cases they could be used in crime.

“There seems to be an open market to obtain these firearms and the firm holds a licence from the Home Office to do it. It is absolutely monstrous.”

Prosecutor John Hedgecoe said the defendant’s neighbour, Joan Newport, called the police after hearing a succession of explosions from Bond’s home.

Officers arrived to find a bizarre scene. Both Bond and his friend Peter Langdale, who had been drinking, were naked in the living room.

Also inside was the defendant’s partner Maria Plumpton and a small child who appeared upset.

Cheshire police armed response unit was brought in after officers found live ammunition in the kitchen.

Further investigations revealed a sten gun-style sub machine gun, hidden in between layers of insulation.

Another sub machine gun was found behind a settee, an automatic pistol was recovered from a kitchen drawer and a self-loading pistol was discovered in a box on top of a wardrobe.

Bond had also rigged up trip wires and a shed alarm which fired blank rounds from a 12-bore shotgun to deter intruders.

Arrested and interviewed the defendant told police he had been cheated out of payment for engineering work carried out and had got drunk with his friend.

He admitted discharging the sub machine gun in his yard.

Thomas Watson, defending, said: “It would seem any member of the public can write off and get these guns.”

Bond had a fascination for purchasing the deactivated weapons and then restoring them to full working order, he added.

Warrington Guardian

From 1997

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley, also sentenced for inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Widnes, has been sentenced to a total of three years and 10 months imprisonment for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of wounding/inflicting GBH

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Widnes, has been sentenced to a total of three years and 10 months imprisonment for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of wounding/inflicting GBH

A WIDNES man had been caged for 30 months for sexual activity with a teenage girl and a handed a 16 month consecutive jail sentence for GBH.

Ryan Johnson, 24, of Eversley in Hough Green, appeared at Warrington Crown Court on Friday, November 4.

Judge Neil Flewitt sentenced Johnson to a total of three years and 10 months behind bars for four counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) on a man.

The judge told the defendant he must serve half his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Matthew Dunford, prosecuting, told the court that the sexual offences took place on Saturday, July 11, last year with the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Dunford told the court how the defendant committed offences on four occasions on that day and said that Johnson was arrested by police on Monday, July 13.

The prosecution said Johnson, who was 23 at the time, told officers during an interview that he thought the victim was 17.

However, Mr Dunford said that messages recovered from the victim’s phone between her and the defendant ‘makes it clear’ that Johnson knew the girl’s age.

A victim personal statement from the girl read out in court by Mr Dunford said that she had ‘suffered nightmares and regularly wakes up crying’.

The prosecution added that the GBH charge covered an assault in April this year outside a pub in Widnes in which Johnson punched a man who suffered a fractured jaw, later having to undergo an operation under general anaesthetic. A victim personal statement from the man read out by Mr Dunford said that he experienced ‘severe pain’.

Andrew Green, defending Johnson, who has previously been in prison for offences including threatening with a blade and assault with intent to rob, said his client has never had a ‘stable home’ and comes from a ‘broken’ family background.

He said client is also ashamed with the ‘label’ that is attached to him due to the offences he has committed.

Mr Green said: “Clearly Ryan Johnson understands that this has to be a prison sentence. The only question is how long that must be.”

Judge Flewitt, sentencing, said: “You have a number of previous convictions. It is right to observe you have no convictions for sexual offences but you have a number of convictions for offences of violence.”

The judge sentenced Johnson to 30 months in prison for the sexual offences with 16 months consecutively for the assault charge.

Liverpool Echo

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