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Dad-of-two ‘forgot’ to register 12 gauge shotgun discovered in wardrobe

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Archant

A father-of-two “forgot” to register a 12 gauge shotgun found by police in the wardrobe of his Harleston home, a court heard.

John Calladine was arrested after officers discovered the weapon and ammunition while searching his property at Willow Walk on October 27 last year.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday (December 18) the 57-year-old had been in possession of the gun following his father’s death several years ago.

Calladine’s solicitor Tej Thakkar argued his client had simple forgotten to add the weapon to his existing shotgun certificate.

Prosecutor Tess Mann said the defendant’s home was searched as part of a “legitimate investigation” by police.

She said: “While searching they found an unregistered firearm in the bedroom wardrobe and then in a draw ammunition was found.

“He was arrested and interviewed and made full admissions.”

No details were given about the nature of the investigation.

Mitigating, Mr Thakkar told the court Calladine had been a man of good character and had no previous arrests or cautions.

He said Calladine had a “historical interest” in firearms and had a shotgun certificate for 30 years without issue.

While his three other guns were registered on that certificate, the fourth single-barrelled weapon had not been.

The court heard how the shotgun had been owned by Calladine’s father, who passed away around 2002.

It was discovered while he was clearing out his late father’s home a few years back.

Mr Thakkar said his client should have surrendered the weapon at the time, but instead put it in his wardrobe.

“Had he had signed a form saying the shotgun is to be added to the certificate, he would not be here today,” Mr Thakkar added.

“He put it in his wardrobe with a view of adding it to the certificate, but he forgot.”

The court heard how Calladine had since surrendered all of his other shotguns.

“He knows he has let himself down,” Mr Thakkar said. “He does not make any excuses about where he finds himself.

“It was simply an error of judgement and he forgot.”

Magistrates recognised it was an “exceptional” circumstance and fined Calladine £400.

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