Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Weapons Expert's Illegal Haul Included 'Al Capone' Tommy Gun in Violin Case ; 78-Year-Old RAF Veteran's Astonishing Array of Unlicensed Firearms Took Officers Four Days to Sort Out

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Weapons Expert's Illegal Haul Included 'Al Capone' Tommy Gun in Violin Case ; 78-Year-Old RAF Veteran's Astonishing Array of Unlicensed Firearms Took Officers Four Days to Sort Out

Article excerpt

A WAR hero who hoarded an arsenal of guns and ammo was last night beginning a jail sentence - at the age of 78.

Harry Jones was secretary of the Tameside Gun Club for nearly 40 years and was a trusted authority on weaponry.

But his obsession with firearms led to him amassing a terrifying arsenal of illegal weapons, including nine handguns and an Al Caponestyle Tommy gun - all in full working order.

The former RAF veteran's hoard could have caused carnage if it had fallen into the wrong hands.

As well as the illegal weapons, police found his collection of legallyheld firearms strewn around his Dukinfield home, including semiautomatic rifles lying on his bedroom floor and a deactivated machine gun by the settee.

Former RAF armourer Jones, of Dain Close, was awarded a service medal for action during the Aden Emergency in Sixties and has held a keen interest in military history and memorabilia.

It took officers four days to sort his collection of guns and shells and an Army lorry was needed to remove it.

But Jones, described by his lawyer as 'a good man', has now been jailed for two years at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court after admitting charges of possessing prohibited weapons.

The search of his home was prompted by a routine check of the Tameside Gun Club in Mossley, back on July 9, 2014, Police forced entry into a locker belonging to John Robson, a 71-year-old engineer from Preston, and found machine guns scavenged from Lancaster bombers and Spitfires as well as armour piercing ammunition.

Robson had scavenged eight cannons from Second World War crashsites, potentially disturbing war graves, after sneaking onto private land up and down the country.

He admitted firearms offences alongside Jones, but was spared jail.

Police later then visited the home of Jones where they discovered illegal handguns along with the 'Tommy gun' inside a violin case. …

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