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Man found with guns ‘didn’t know they were loaded’

PUBLISHED: 15:29 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 04 December 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man found with a haul of loaded guns, bullets and cannabis plants told police he was “custodian” of the weapons and did not know they were loaded, a court heard.

Police found the firearms and drugs when they joined RSPCA officers who were investigating reports of an animal in distress, Norwich Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

Leo Price, 25, of Brooks Green, Mangreen Lane, Keswick, admitted possessing a .22 calibre revolver, a bolt-action shotgun and 58 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition cartridges on June 11 at his home address.

Previously, a court had heard that police had been called to concerns about an animal and then discovered loaded firearms, ammunition and cannabis plants.

Police, accompanied by RSPCA officers, went a site at Mangreen Lane in Keswick on June 11 to carry out a warrant following concerns in relation to the Animal Welfare Act.

They went at 9am, but their enquiries led them to a property where a number of cannabis plants were seized, as well as the loaded firearms and ammunition.

Gavin Cowe, representing Price, said he had been acting as “custodian” of the firearms and was “unaware they were loaded”.

Judge Andrew Shaw asked the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report.

He also said that the assertions about the basis of Price’s guilty pleas would be for the sentencing judge to determine and that he may require the defendant to give evidence.

Price was remanded on bail with the conditions that he must live and sleep at his home address and obey a curfew between 7pm and 7am. He will be sentenced on January 11 next year.

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