Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Wyverstone: Parish council chairman Jim Arnold charged with firearms offences dies after police find one of the country’s largest weapons’ hauls.

PUBLISHED: 06:15 23 July 2014

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A large cache of weapons and ammunition discovered at a Suffolk parish council chairman’s home is understood to be one of the biggest hauls of its kind in the country, it can be revealed.

Suffolk Constabulary has declined to disclose the exact number of firearms involved following the death of village stalwart James Arnold, of Wyverstone, near Stowmarket, as it says investigations are still ongoing.

However it is understood the number of weapons, including automatic firearms, runs into three figures.

The continuing police enquiries follow a four-week search of Mr Arnold’s home in Potash Lane, which began in April and continued until early May.

Officers also found a vast amount of ammunition and several controlled explosions were carried out at the property.

The Metropolitan Police, Ministry of Defence and other law enforcement agencies were said to have been involved during the search.

Mr Arnold had been due to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on Friday for a plea and case management hearing.

Yesterday during a hearing at the same court the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the case against him as the 49-year-old died on July 14 while on remand in custody.

Mr Arnold had been suffering from terminal cancer when he was arrested in April.

Originally Mr Arnold was charged with only four firearms offences following his arrest in April. However, it is understood more allegations would have been laid against him as the case progressed.

The charges he had been facing since his first hearing before West Suffolk Magistrates Court in Bury St Edmunds related to possessing an Uzi machine gun, an AK47 assault rifle, a bolt action shotgun and a self-loading rifle gun.

Last night a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “We can confirm that James Arnold died on 14 July, 2014, and that the Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued the case against Mr Arnold.”

In April police said the search of Mr Arnold’s cottage and its four acres of land had yielded a ‘significant’ number of weapons.

Specialist search teams from Suffolk Police, with the assistance of officers from the Metropolitan Police searched the property, outbuildings and land.

At the time a spokeswoman said: “A significant number of weapons have been recovered so far. The Bomb Disposal Squad has also been in attendance and have carried out a number of controlled explosions as a precautionary measure.

“Around 50 officers are currently working on the investigation, including Safer Neighbourhood Team officers carrying out reassurance patrols and visits, officers on the cordon for scene preservation and search teams.

Eddie Gale, vice chairman of Wyverstone Village Hall, said: “There has been a terrific police presence. It’s been non-stop.

“We have had bomb disposal, armed response units and a helicopter.

“Jim (Arnold) is chairman of the parish council and he was, until he was diagnosed with cancer, my vice chairman at the village hall.

“He’s a great asset to the village. I think everybody finds it very strange. He’s a fairly quiet man and plays a great part in the running of the village.

“Nothing usually happens in Wyverstone. Of course people are very shocked.

“He’s stood back a lot recently because of his cancer. He told me last March (2013) he had been given five months to live.

“I still find it hard to believe he’s involved in anything serious.”

4 comments

  • TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Whatever the crime he clearly did a lot of good work for the community and this is a sad way to spend his final days. Does this outcome serve any good purpose and wasn't it for seen?

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • if the poor bloke was dying from cancer why bother to arrest him [ just take the weapons away.?

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Well done Colin, lets heap more misery onthe family of the deceased! - why not rip him to shreds again now he is dead, just so the family can be upset again. usual rubbish reporting.

    Report this comment

    Concerned Human

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Could you open your home to one of these cats and dogs all looking for new homes?

An army of volunteers is needed to help say ‘Thank You’ to the armed forces – past and present – at a major event this summer.

If you take a walk around Suffolk’s county town you cannot fail to notice some of the public artwork on display.

A runner dressed as “zombie” Elvis Presley plans to complete 17 laps of a Suffolk housing estate today in the “world’s dullest marathon”.

A new display window on Ipswich Waterfront has been created to tell the story of the growth of Cliff Quay and the modern Ipswich port.

Having been a top TV producer in London, Rachel Aldridge knows better than most what it takes to run a successful shoot. Jason Noble caught up with her to find out how the film industry can thrive in Suffolk

A motorcyclist has died following a serious collision with a car north of Ipswich this afternoon.

A student from Chelmondiston who was born to a British mother but has struggled to acquire British citizenship has described the overwhelmingly positive reaction to her plight.

Players from across the country came to Suffolk last week for the first ever Special Olympics Badminton Tournament – with some securing places in the national finals in Sheffield this August.

A driver has been injured after crashing into a lamp post in Suffolk.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24