Arsenal man from Welwyn Garden City jailed for seven years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 July 2013

Howard Jones

Howard Jones

Archant

ILLEGAL guns, ammunition, stun-guns, pepper sprays and Class A drugs landed a man with a seven year prison sentence.

Howard Jones, 54, of Bessemer Road, Welwyn Garden City, was jailed last Monday, for possession of the arsenal, importing illegal stun-guns from the Philippines and possessing with the intention of supplying cocaine.

St Albans Crown Court heard how Jones, 54, had amassed the weapons through a variety of means.

Zarif Khan, defending Jones, said he got an unlicensed Czech-made .22 rifle and 103 rounds of ammo to deal with a “rat infestation” in a scrapyard at A1 Aggregates, in Welwyn Garden City, near to where he was living in a mobile home.

He claimed Jones had come by a complete but faulty pistol and another handgun “in bits” from house clearances.

The court heard how Jones had a combined 38 grams of cocaine, with an estimated street value of £2,000 and “bulking agent” to make it go further, to feed his own son’s drug habit.

Mr Khan said: “His son was addicted, had got into trouble and he [the defendant] wanted to find a way of controlling [the] supply to his son.”

It was also revealed Jones had ordered stun-guns and pepper spray from the Philippines using his own credit card after Googling “self defence products”.

It was said he intended to give the weapons, which are classed as firearms in the UK, to his daughters.

Police raided his home after the package, which also included a number of knives, was intercepted by border guards, at a depot in Coventry on April 22.

Jones admitted all the charges.

The court heard how Jones had previous convictions for “dishonesty and violence” and had served a jail term in 1996.

And in 1978, he was fined for carrying an unlicensed shotgun in a public place.

But, prior to the latest offences, he had been out of trouble for 17 years.

In mitigation, Mr Khan said his client had cooperated fully with police and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Judge Stephen Gullick referenced a letter Jones had written explaining his criminal actions in jailing him for seven years.

He said: “As you say in your letter ‘drugs plus firearms equals trouble’, and it equals trouble for you.”

He slammed Jones for “ordering weapons over the internet” and said 38 grams of cocaine “is trouble as well”.

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