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Shotguns, machine guns and ammunition found in ceiling of Gravesend business

PUBLISHED: 09:38 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:38 18 April 2018

Jeffrey Dawe, 74, has been jailed for five years. Picture: Kent Police

Jeffrey Dawe, 74, has been jailed for five years. Picture: Kent Police

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A man who owned a garage in Norfolk Road has been jailed for five years for storing a cache of weapons, including shotguns, a harpoon gun and a Second World War Russian Submachine gun at his business.

A riffle was also found. Picture: Kent PoliceA riffle was also found. Picture: Kent Police

Officers searched Jeffrey Dawe’s Gravesend property in August 2017, also finding gunpowder, fireworks, ammunition, and a book detailing how to covert old, disused guns into live firing weapons.

The 74-year-old, of Shrubbery Road, pleaded guilty to firearms offences at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday April 16.

The cache included 24 long barrelled guns, 47 handguns, five flare guns, two BB guns adapted to fire lethal ammunition, two shotguns, a Second World War Russian machine gun with more than 300 rounds of ammunition, and a British Second World War machine gun.

The court heard how Dawe hid the majority of the weapons – which were found wrapped in plastic bags – behind a metal sheet in the ceiling of his business.

Ammunition was discovered along with the weapons. Picture: Kent PoliceAmmunition was discovered along with the weapons. Picture: Kent Police

Also found in the property were significant amounts of ammunition of varying calibres, pressing equipment for making rounds, and a large box of fireworks.

Dawe returned to the garage while officers were carrying out the search of his property.

He was arrested at the scene and later pleaded guilty to possessing firearms without a certificates, possessing prohibited weapons, and possessing ammunition without a certificate.

Det Insp Bill Thornton said: “Dawe claimed he collected and assembled his weapons out of his own interest in antiques.

Officers searched Jeffrey Dawe’s Gravesend property in August 2017. Picture: Kent PoliceOfficers searched Jeffrey Dawe’s Gravesend property in August 2017. Picture: Kent Police

“However, regardless of his intentions, he illegally had in his possession large numbers of firearms that were capable of firing with lethal effect.

“He was fully aware the weapons were illegally held and actively decided not to surrender them to Kent Police.

“This not only ensured there were unregulated, dangerous weapons in the community, but also meant there was a possibility they could fall into the hands of other criminals who would use them to cause harm.”

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