Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 9°C


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.

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.”



    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


    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


    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

It’s nearly Halloween and there is a variety of events across Suffolk this half term to keep your little monsters entertained no matter what their age.

A wedding dress catwalk, singers, cakes, flowers and a string quartet were among the bridal delights on offer at Ipswich Hotel’s Wedding Fayre today.

Stormtroopers marched the streets of Bury St Edmunds this weekend as Moyse’s Hall unveiled its acclaimed annual science fiction exhibition.

A disqualified motorist banned for a drink-drive related offence was caught driving again while nearly four-and-a-half times the limit within two hours of his conviction.

An armed police officer was called to Kesgrave as a safety precaution after a report was received of an injured dog today.

Last week’s article was about Oak Hill, the outstanding property just off Belstead Road on Oak Hill Lane, built in 1860 on a plot of land sold by Peter Burrell of Stoke Park, recaps John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Plans for Sizewell C are doomed to “evaporate” in the wake of insurmountable problems that will prevent its intended forerunner at Hinkley Point ever producing electricity, one of Britain’s leading environmentalists has predicted.

Arthur Ransome’s tales of boats and adventure - many of which were set in Suffolk - changed the course of children’s literature.

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

Most read


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24