Man with “obsession” for guns jailed for three years after arsenal of 70 weapons found at his Brundall home

Police and Forensic Services carrying out a detailed search of the property and gardens on Hol

Police and Forensic Services carrying out a detailed search of the property and gardens on Holmesdale Road, Brundall, following their find of a large number of firearms. Picture: STEVE ADAMS - Credit: Steve Adams

A 62-year-old man with a 'fascination for firearms' has been jailed for three years after police seized more than 70 illegal guns and live ammunition from his Brundall home.

Former nurse and care worker Michael Cook was arrested after police searched his home on Holmesdale Road on May 16 and uncovered a 'vast array' of handguns and rifles, including a Browning 9mm and Smith and Wesson 0.5mm, both loaded with live ammunition.

Cook had admitted six offences, including possessing a prohibited firearm and a prohibited rifled gun, on February 8. At Norwich Crown Court he asked for a further 69 offences relating to firearms and ammunition to be taken into consideration.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said Cook did hold 'a perfectly lawful firearms certificate', but it did not extend to the arsenal found at his home by officers.

'Searches of the house, in particular a small bedroom, disclosed various gun cabinets which contained long barrelled weapons,' he said. 'In the loft were a number of long barrelled rifles, some lying about exposed.

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'There were in excess of 70 items seized including an array of firearms and ammunition.

'The defendant was interviewed and had little to say. For the most part he gave no comment. He went on to say he was something of a firearms enthusiast. He had over the years accumulated this stock for various people including people he knew from the local gun club.'

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Steven Dyble, mitigating for Cook, said he had 'never been in trouble before and is in questionable health.' 'These offences have been committed by a man who from a very early age has had a fascination with firearms,' he said. 'As a teenager the defendant was brought up in an environment where the use of firearms for legitimate purposes was commonplace. He would regularly attend shooting with his family and against that classic agricultural upbringing his familiarity with firearms is something he took in to his adult life.

'His acquisition of these weapons was down to this developing, almost obsessive interest in firearms. The weapons in fact are really an historical chronology of the development of revolvers in the 20th century.

Judge Katharine Moore, sentencing, told Cook the case was 'extremely troubling'.

'We have a large and unregulated illegal private collection containing a vast number of weapons, some loaded,' she said. 'I hope you can see now the great danger that is caused when people behave as you did.'

Cook was sentenced to three years in prison for counts one and two, and 18 months, to be served concurrently, for the remaining counts.

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