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Five years in prison for Ipswich ‘weapons collector’ who bought sawn-off shotgun at car boot sale

PUBLISHED: 18:07 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:49 18 October 2017

Lee Rogers, 35, of Lacey Street, Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Lee Rogers, 35, of Lacey Street, Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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An Ipswich man who hid a sawn-off shotgun he bought at a car boot sale in his garden shed has been jailed for five years.

Lee Rogers was arrested by police who were alerted by a neighbour who discovered the weapon which was wrapped in tape and hidden behind a tumble dryer, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Rogers told officers he bought the weapon at a car boot sale and had displayed it in a “man-cave” at his home until a friend told him it was illegal.

He had then wrapped it up and hid it in his garden shed and was planning to get rid of it by throwing it off the Orwell Bridge or handing it in at the next gun amnesty.

Rogers, 35, who was living in Lacey Street, Ipswich, admitted possessing a sawn-off shotgun and two stun guns, which are all prohibited weapons, on July 17.

Sentencing him, Judge David Goodin said there were no exceptional circumstances in the case which would allow him to depart from passing an immediate sentence of five years which was laid down by Parliament.

He said Rogers had not kept the gun under lock and key in his house or in a storage cabinet.

“It was extremely vulnerable in my judgement to acquisition by someone else, a villain or a burglar, without any intention on your part,” he added.

He said although the gun did not have any firing pins and could not be effectively fired in the condition it was in, it could easily have been restored to firing condition.

The judge said he had read a large number of references, from relatives, friends and neighbours who all spoke of Rogers as “an excellent parent and neighbour and entirely decent member of the community in every way”.

Houzla Rawat, for Rogers, said her client had been told the gun was an antique and had been decommissioned and he thought it was a legal weapon.

She said Rogers had an interest in all kinds of weapons, including knives, which were all kept in his “man-cave”.

When he realised it was not a legal weapon he wrapped it up and hid it in his garden shed with the intention of handing it in during the next gun amnesty and had not realised there was a minimum sentence for having it in his possession.

Drivers are being warned the Orwell Bridge will close tonight at 10pm due to strong winds until around 8am tomorrow morning.

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Drivers are being warned the Orwell Bridge is likely to shut tonight until tomorrow morning due to forecast high winds.

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