Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

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

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.

shares

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.”

shares

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

Mick McCarthy, Manager of Ipswich Town shouts instructions Bristol City v Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is as frustrated and agitated as supporters after this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-battling Bristol City made it four losses from five games in all competitions.

The Belstead House in Pinweood, Ipswich.

Frustrated councillors who object to plans to build 155 homes in their parish are threatening legal action against planners.

Former Met police officer Colin Sutton with his dog Jasper

Many might describe Colin Sutton as a ‘proper copper’ - the sort with blue blood running through his family’s veins.

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

A file  picture of the A14.

A man was taken to hospital after he came off the motorcycle he was riding.

Ellen and her family

There is a nasty rumour going round the playground, writes Ellen Widdup.

A file picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters were called to a home in Springfield Road in the early hours.

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24