‘Lewis Nedas Law’ Article (March 2013)


March 4th, 2013 published by Lewis Nedas Law


Son of registered firearms dealer spared prison for unlawful possession of ammunition.

Our firearms law specialist Laura Saunsbury has achieved another outstanding result for a client charged with firearms offences. For some time following his father’s death, our client could not bring himself to finish clearing out the workshop at his parents’ home in which his father, a gun dealer, made custom fit pistols for competitive shooters prior to the handgun ban. At one time our client had himself been a highly skilled pistol shooter who had won international competitions. On clearing out the workshop with his mother, our client found a small quantity of assorted ammunition which had almost certainly been used by his father as test rounds to check the fit with the barrel of each pistol as he finished them. Also found with the ammunition was an unfinished pistol barrel. The items were taken to our client’s office for safekeeping with the intention of being surrendered to the police or a firearms dealer. Unfortunately, they were discovered by an employee with a grievance who then telephoned the police.

Laura’s careful and thorough preparation of this case included instructing leading firearms expert David Dyson to examine the items on our client’s behalf and comment on the findings of two firearms experts relied on by the Crown. Dismissing the Crown’s arguments, the Judge at Nottingham Crown Court agreed with Mr Dyson’s opinion that the barrel was not a component part of a prohibited firearm in its current unfinished state as it could not be fitted to any firearm without further machining work by a person with specialist tools and knowledge. Ultimately, just as the trial was due to commence on 11th February 2013, the Crown were forced to not proceed with this charge in view of Mr Dyson’s findings and the Judge’s comments. This was by far the most serious of the offences our client faced as it carried a mandatory minimum term of 5 years imprisonment. He then pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition. Our client was represented in court by specialist firearms barrister Nick Doherty. On hearing Counsel’s eloquent mitigation the Judge sentenced him exceptionally leniently by imposing a conditional discharge for two years. A short sentence of imprisonment had always been a real possibility.

Our client is a successful businessman in Northampton. He and his family were absolutely delighted with this outcome, and most grateful to Laura and the defence legal team for their expert advice and guidance throughout this year long ordeal. In a letter of thanks our client expressed his gratitude with these words;

“When I was trying to find a solicitor to help me I sought to find one with the appropriate expertise. There were many solicitors claiming to offer expert firearms advice but very few seemed to have any real world examples or reviews they could share with me. After searching online I found Lewis Nedas and Laura’s profile a breath of fresh air amidst the dross I had found previously. What stood out for me about Laura was her real world experience and her very honest somewhat open book approach. How many solicitors do you know that are members of the CPSA?

Laura advised me in a friendly and professional way right from day 1. As somebody who has never been in trouble with the police or the courts before I was particularly nervous about being charged with numerous firearms offences but Laura was very reassuring and explained everything in detail and managed my expectations positively but realistically. Every element of my case was considered carefully and discussed with me openly, it really felt like a team approach.

As my case progressed Laura instructed Barrister Nick Doherty on my behalf who was equally impressive. I cannot thank Laura, her team at Lewis Nedas and Nick enough – they secured a very positive outcome for me and I’m sure my situation would have been measurably worse if not life changing without them on my side. If you’ll pardon the pun, Laura and Nick are both people of the highest Calibre and should be on your team if you are faced with a firearms offence of any nature!”

Read the original article on the Lewis Nedas Law website here.

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