Anger over jail sentence

ANGRY sisters of a Kesgrave man sentenced to a year in prison for the possession of firearms today launched a scathing attack on the justice system.A former gun club member, Roderick Bestwick was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after he admitted having an Enfield .

ANGRY sisters of a Kesgrave man sentenced to a year in prison for the possession of firearms today launched a scathing attack on the justice system.

A former gun club member, Roderick Bestwick was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment after he admitted having an Enfield .303 rifle and a double-barrelled shotgun without a firearms certificate.

Police were alerted to the presence of the guns, which were stored in the garage of his Kesgrave home, after they received a tip-off from his ex-wife.

His sister Maureen Bestwick-Stevens, 67, who now lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said: "We are disgusted with the penalty he's been given. They were antique guns and he said he did not even realise they were there. My brother is not a violent man."

In court, Mr Bestwick told magistrates he thought his wife had disposed of them during a gun amnesty and was not aware they were still in the garage.

Mrs Bestwick-Stevens, who moved to America in 1956, last saw her brother in May. She now fears he may never be able to visit her in the States again.

Most Read

She said: "I try and come to England to see my family every year but now I'm retired it's not so easy. I was hoping he may be able to get out to visit me but with this kind of a charge against him, I'm not sure. They are so strict about these kinds of things over here."

Mr Bestwick's other sister, Bridget Webster, 63, of Stoke Park, Ipswich, was equally shocked at the sentence her brother received.

She said: "There are paedophiles out walking the streets and then my brother, who told the court he knew nothing about what he was supposed to have done, gets sent to prison for a year. It's disgusting.

"I think about my brother every day, locked up in there for 23 out of 24 hours.

"The worst thing is that he has been taken away from his two young children and he's missing them very badly."

The sisters are determined to clear their brother's name and have written to MP Chris Mole to ask for his assistance with the case.

Mrs Webster said: "We just don't know what to do. No-one seems to be listening to us.

"I just hope Roderick survives this. He puts on a brave face but he is being driven to the ground."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter