Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photographer: I kept gun as a prop

A man in Kent, England escaped a 5 year prison term because he had a Colt .45 which, apparently posed a threat to the public, because he only used it as a prop and had no ammunition for it.


I wonder how long he had been using it as a prop and how did the authorities find out about it?

Poor put through the ringer because of England's draconian gun laws.

Photographer: I kept gun as a prop

Maidstone Crown Court

Maidstone Crown Court

by Keith Hunt

An award-winning photographer has escaped a five-year jail sentence for possessing an illegal firearm after claiming he used it as a prop for work.

Andrew Morant faced the mandatory term after being caught in possession of the Colt 45 pistol at his Rainham home in November 2007.

But a judge said he took the view that such punishment would be "disproportionate and arbitrary" and suspended a 40-week sentence for two years.

The 50-year-old, of Bayswater Drive, will also have to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £200 costs.

Alistair Keith, defending, said Morant had it as a curiosity or ornament for his photography business.

"He is a distinguished master photographer with a number of qualifications, winning five Kodak Gold Circle Master Class awards," he said.

The lawyer said Morant had been tearful and overwhelmed by the court proceedings.

Judge David Griffith-Jones, QC, said the reason for a mandatory five-year sentence was because possession of such firearms posed danger to the public, regardless of the intention of owning them.

But in some circumstances, such a sentence could be disproportionate and arbitrary.

"You had no ammunition to use with it. I also accept your intention and knowledge was in no way malevolent."

Article: prop gun

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