Woodland farmer loses shotgun licence as wife knew where weapon cupboard keys were

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A FARMER has lost his shotgun licence after his wife was able to show police where the key for the weapons’ cupboard was kept.

Kevin Charlton admitted failing to comply with his shotgun certificate as his wife, with whom he lives at a farm at The Edge in Woodland, knew where the keys were.

According to his licence, only authorised persons should be able to get to the key but she was not one of those permitted.

Police were called to the farm on October 15 to reports of an argument between Charlton, 56, and his wife.

When they arrived Charlton was in bed. His wife told police that he had guns and gave them the keys, prosecutor David Maddison told Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court.

When officers woke him he became aggressive and injured an officer’s shoulder after the pair fell over during his arrest.

Charlton also admitted resisting a PC. 

Officers seized two shotguns and seven cartridges, the court heard.

Jonathan Harley in mitigation said the couple had been out to the pub and argued when they returned home.

He said Charlton was drunk at the time and that arguments are very rare in their household.

Mr Harley said Charlton was shocked when he was awoken by police and acted “out of instinct rather than malevolence”.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £275 in fines and costs and £25 compensation to the officer.

They also rescinded his shotgun licence and ordered forfeiture of the weapons and ammunition.

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