Firearms collector, 72, jailed for having illegal shotgun and pistol

Tony Pack

Tony Pack - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A 72-year-old firearms collector who bought a shotgun and a pistol almost 30 years ago has been jailed after the weapons were discovered by police.

Tony Pack, who will be 73 next week, kept the weapons as part of his collection at his home near Great Yarmouth.

Norwich Crown Court heard police attended Pack's home in Sidegate Road, Hopton, on May 20 in relation to unconnected enquiries but found a shotgun “learning against a window inside the property”.

Simon Connolly, prosecuting, said Pack returned home and “immediately admitted it was unlicensed”.

Other firearms were found around the property, including a taser and pistol, as well as ammunition.

The court was told the items found were “in full sight”.

The unlicensed gun and pistol were both loaded and capable of being immediately fired although the taser was not immediately useable.

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Pack, who was fully co-operative, was interviewed by police and said the firearms were “part of his collection” built up over the years.

He said the shotgun and pistol had been “bought from gypsies about 30 years ago”.

He said he had been “foolish” to buy them but had not fired them.

He kept the pistol in a box under his bed.

He agreed it was “a lethal weapon” but told police he would “never shoot anyone with it but might shoot it in the air to scare any thieves”.

He told police he bought the taser in Germany about 27 years ago while working over there “for self defence” but had never used it.

Pack appeared at court on Friday (January 22) when he admitted possession of a prohibited firearm, a pistol, on May 20 last year.

He also admitted possession of a prohibited weapon, the taser, and possession of a shotgun without a certificate on the same date.

The offences carry a mandatory minimum five year prison term except for in exceptional circumstances.

Andrew Nuttall, mitigating, said the mandatory minimum five year term would be “disproportionate”.

He said Pack had been “in no kind of trouble whatsoever” and that he was also "very poorly" with “chronic heart disease, type 2 diabetes and possibly the beginnings of Alzheimer’s Disease”.

He added Pack, who is 73 in less than a week, was “very poorly”.

Judge Katharine Moore said the least sentence she could impose was three year's imprisonment.

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