Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°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

Nearly 14,000 people flocked to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion during the first three months of its re-opening. Photo: Su Anderson

The new owners of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion are celebrating after it was revealed thousands have flocked to see shows at the recently re-opened venue.

A motorist drove into a wall in Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, on Wednesday 27th April.

An alleged drink driver crashed his BMW 525 estate into a wall and collided with three other vehicles in Sidegate Lane yesterday afternoon.

Keith Sadler at his home in Stowmarket.

A singer-songwriter from Suffolk whose life turned in a different direction due to health problems has released an album.

Candidates Tim Passmore, Cath Pickles, Helen Korfanty, Terence Carter and Simon Tobin all signed the pledge.

All five candidates running for Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner role have signed a pledge to end sexual violence against women and girls in the county.

Kevin Keen, who has left his post as manager of Colchester United this afternoon

On Sleeping Giants this week, we discuss Colchester United’s next move, the Whizzinator, sporting cheats and painful moments.

Suffolk County Council's chief executive Deborah Cadman

The union representing the largest number of staff at Suffolk County Council has called for all employees at the authority to be given the same pay rise as chief executive Deborah Cadman.

Joe and Ruth Lubbock celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this week.

Suffolk couple Joseph and Ruth Lubbock are today celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. LYNNE MORTIMER meets them as they mark three-quarters of a century as Mr and Mrs Lubbock.

Dog walking

Weather for the weekend is looking chilly but fair so why not head out for a stroll with your canine friend and enjoy some Suffolk pub hospitality while you’re there.

crazy-weather-in-suffolk-today_2016-4-26_31626_68671

Changeable is the best way to describe the weather this week, with bright sunshine one moment and hail storms the next - but expect warmer days this bank holiday weekend.

The former Croydons building

Hopes are rising that up-market Jack Wills could soon be on its way to Ipswich town centre.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24