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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Illegal guns supplier is jailed
Paul Williams
Williams had been a gun enthusiast from the age of nine
A gun enthusiast who supplied three close friends with illegal weapons has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Retired driving instructor Paul Williams, 60, from Trevor, Denbighshire, admitted dealing in prohibited firearms and ammunition.

Mold Crown Court heard he supplied a selection of pistols and even a sub-machine gun converter kit.

Judge John Rogers QC said Williams had chosen to "disregard" gun law changes after the 1997 Dunblane massacre.

The court heard Williams was a collector and enthusiast with an interest in firearms since the age of nine.

He had supplied a tight circle of three people, one of whom had since died.

Williams admitted six counts of illegally selling or transferring prohibited weapons to William Charles Hughes, 66.

Hughes was jailed for five years in October last year for illegally possessing and supplying weapons.

This is a tragic case as you are a man of hitherto excellent character
Judge John Rogers QC

Williams also asked for 18 other similar offences to be taken into consideration.

These included supplying Martin Davies, 58, then headmaster of Ysgol Deiniol, Marchweil, near Wrexham, with 21 weapons and more than 200 bullets. Davies was jailed for four years in June 2006.

Prosecution barrister Gareth Preston told the court that one of the transactions between Davies and Williams had taken place in the car park of Wrexham Gun Club at Cefn Road in Wrexham in 2000, where both men had been members.

The charges against Williams related to a model 1911 Colt pistol, ammunition for a Browning 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 ERM Werke semi automatic pistol.

They also included a Smith and Wesson special 38 pistol, a Uberti revolver, a Flintlock pistol, a Martini .303 single shot and the Uzi converter kit.

The court heard Williams had produced a pistol from under the seat of his Mini Metro in the Alyn Waters Country Park, at Llay, near Wrexham and Hughes agreed to buy it and other items, including the Uzi kit, for 1,250.

Another transaction took place in a car park outside B&Q in Wrexham, and the third transaction at his home.

The court heard the Uzi kit could have been capable of firing up to 600 rounds a minute if it had been fitted to a deactivated weapon.

But Simon Parrington, defending, said that there was no suggestion his client had ever tried to obtain such a weapon.

'Excellent character'

Judge Rogers said Williams must have known of the changes in the law, restricting the ownership of guns, in the wake of the Dunblane massacre in 1997.

He said: "Unfortunately, you thought it appropriate to disregard those changes.

"This is a tragic case as you are a man of hitherto excellent character. You are and will be in the future a valued member of your community."

Judge Rogers said the offences carried a minimum five-year sentence but, taking into consideration the state of Williams' health and his previous good character, he reduced it by six months.

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