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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Head jailed for illegal arsenal
Martin Davies
Martin Davies was described as a 'much loved family man'
A primary school head teacher has been jailed for four years for possessing an illegal arsenal of guns and ammunition.

Martin Wynn Davies, 58, from Wrexham, admitted illegally possessing 10 hand guns, two rifles and ammunition.

The head of Ysgol Deiniol, Wrexham, asked for nine other offences to be taken into account at Mold Crown Court.

Judge John Rogers QC said he had reduced Davies' jail term because of his "impeccable character".

The court was also told about Davies' good service to the community during his 22 years as a head teacher.

The usual jail term for such offences is five years.

Davies, who has already been suspended from his school, had been interested in weapons since he was a child and received his first firearm when he was eight, the court heard.

House search in Johnstown, Wrexham
Officers carrying out a house search in Johnstown, Wrexham

He was a member of a gun club and regularly shot at a quarry near Ruthin.

He held licences which allowed him to keep a large number of weapons legally at his home as well as 7,000 rounds of ammunition.

But he was arrested in April when officers discovered 21 weapons not covered by his permit, along with illegal ammunition, including 190 hollow point rounds which expand on impact.

He also asked for four other illegal handguns and five rifles to be taken into consideration.

The court heard he had an "encyclopaedic knowledge" of guns and even corrected police when they quizzed him about their capability and precision.

There's no suggestion any of the guns were used in criminal activity. There's no suggestion he's anything other than an enthusiast
Ed Beltrami, prosecuting

He co-operated fully with police and all weapons - including the legal firearms - have been surrendered.

The court heard that he had acquired many of the guns following the Dunblane massacre in March 1996, after which the possession of handguns became illegal.

He had planned to deactivate them but never got round to it.

Prosecutor Ed Beltrami said: "He has been interested in guns since he was a boy. There's no suggestion any of the guns were used in criminal activity. There's no suggestion he's anything other than an enthusiast."

But the court heard how the law existed to prevent even legally held guns falling into the wrong hands.

Mr Beltrami said Davies' legal guns were locked in secure cabinets, but at least one rifle and revolver were kept in a shed. He also had a box of ammunition in his car.

'Much-loved'

Mr Beltrami said: "He later admitted he had driven the car to the school that day and the ammunition was in the boot of the car and he had forgotten about it."

Defending, Robert Trevor-Jones said Davies had been a "model to the teaching profession" and was a "much-loved family man".

His wife and two sons were in court to see him sentenced.

Mr Trevor-Jones said: "He has always acted responsibly. He has shot, give or take, for 50 years without any incident."

Sentencing, Judge Rogers said it was a sad case of a man who had led a "responsible and good life".

He added: "The references which I have received eloquently confirm your value to the local community.

"In addition you pleaded guilty at the very earliest opportunity and you gave substantial assistance to the police."

Det Chief Inspector Neill Anderson of North Wales Police said after the case that he was pleased that the weapons had been taken out of circulation.

He said: "Davies had built up an enormous arsenal of illegal and prohibited weapons and the gravity of the offence is reflected in the sentence handed to him."


SEE ALSO
Gun charge head teacher suspended
13 Apr 06 |  North East Wales
School head remand on gun charges
05 Apr 06 |  North East Wales

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