Guns examined in arms dealer trial

JURERS in the trial of firearms dealer Richard Ashley, who is accused of keeping dozens of illegally held weapons at his Suffolk home, spent yesterday looking at some of the guns.

JURERS in the trial of firearms dealer Richard Ashley, who is accused of keeping dozens of illegally held weapons at his Suffolk home, spent yesterday looking at some of the guns.

Forensic scientist David Pryor, a firearms expert, began showing the jury at Ipswich Crown Court a number of the 100-plus prohibited weapons seized from Ashley's home.

Ashley, 58, from Pakenham near Bury St Edmunds, has denied five charges of possessing prohibited weapons without the permission of the Home Secretary.

Ashley, who supplied arms to Suffolk and Norfolk Police, has claimed that many of the guns found at his home were antiques.


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He has also alleged that a selection of machine guns had been assembled from parts by police in an attempt to "fit him up".

During his evidence yesterday Mr Pryor looked at a number of the guns and said that in his opinion they weren't antiques.

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He said that one of the weapons – a colt revolver – would be extremely rare and worth several thousand pounds if it was genuine.

However, in his opinion the gun was not an original and was a copy made to look older.

"If it was a genuine gun it would be an antique but if it is a copy it isn't," he said.

The jury was also shown a Browning pistol, one of the weapons that the defence claim was assembled from parts found during the course of the search at Ashley's home.

Mr Pryor said this weapon was made up from three obviously different sources, but he was unable to say when all three parts came together.

The trial continues.

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