Internet arms buyer jailed

PUBLISHED: 16:10 07 November 2006 | UPDATED: 12:06 04 May 2010

Stuart McLatchie

Stuart McLatchie

SOHAM engineer, Stuart McLatchie, has been jailed after buying a gun and bullets through the internet site, eBay. McLatchie, 22, bought a de-activated Beretta pistol and restored it to working order before buying 900 dumdum bullets from America. He attach

SOHAM engineer, Stuart McLatchie, has been jailed after buying a gun and bullets through the internet site, eBay.

McLatchie, 22, bought a de-activated Beretta pistol and restored it to working order before buying 900 dumdum bullets from America.

He attached the bullets to live cartridges and tested the gun on a farm track.

McLatchie also ordered two other de-activated guns, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

But he was arrested when customs officers discovered a package of 200 of the bullets sent from America and addressed to McLatchie, of Rosebay Gardens.

McLatchie was jailed for two years after admitting converting a firearm and purchasing and possessing expanding ammunition.

His sentence has been welcomed by Cambridge Police detective inspector, Dan Vajzovic, who warned other gun users they faced lengthy prison sentences if there guns were not legal.

"The weapons McLatchie amassed were capable of inflicting fatal injuries if used on people or animals," he said. "Although we cannot speculate on the reasons why he had them in his possession, that he had them at all meant he committed serious criminal offices, for which he has received a hefty penalty.

"All gun crime, including the illegal and unlicensed possession of firearms and ammunition, is taken extremely seriously by police and the courts. The message is clear - your firearm must be legal, licensed and safely stored or you risk a lengthy prison sentence."

Ralph Barker, from Cambridgeshire Police's firearms licensing unit, said: "Firearms obviously have the potential to kill or seriously injure. Our primary objective is to protect the public, which is why we rigorously check all people applying for gun licences and regularly review all five-year licences already held.

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