Friday, 13 November 2009

Find a gun, hand it in, go to prison for 5 years

The law, yesterday
Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: "I didn't think for one moment I would be arrested.

"I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets."

I give up.


Billy Blofeld said...

Fuck me - as you point out...... the law is indeed an ass.

Anonymous said...

There must be more to this storey,surely?

John Holmes said...

From Wikipedia "Strict liability laws were created in the 19th century to improve working and safety standards in factories. Needing to prove mens reas on the part of the factory owners was very difficult and resulted in very few prosecutions. The creation of strict liability offences meant that convictions were increased. Common strict liability offences today include the selling of alcohol to underage persons."
At least I know what it is now. Fucking idiotic, that's what. I suspect the key part of this definition as far as we are concerned nowadays is "the creation of strict liability offences meant that convictions were increased".
Next step, training courses for polis looking to up their conviction rates given by Strict Liability Action Groups. That's right, SLAGs.

Stop Common Purpose said...

Don't these people have any fucking common sense.

defender said...

fucking idiot, handimg in a gun, should have stashed it some where. he must be muddle class.

The Paragnostic said...

Love the new top of the page OH - 'stick it up your arse sideways' is unfortunately just what the gay mafia that has ruined England wants, though.

dennest said...

Surely this should never have gone to court.

There was a recent incident where a man found a gun, called the police and was told to bring it to them. Will he get done as well?

JD said...

Better to keep it. We are going to need all the weapons we can get, sooner or later.And ammo, of course.

Road_Hog said...

Why the fuck did the jury find him guilty?

Marxism go to hell! said...

How the fuck could a Jury find someone guilty of handing in a Gun?

Five fucking years!!!!

He could have done a fair amount of serious crime before he would have got that long a stretch.

There is no way this is going to stand up to an appeal, unless there is more to it.

SO17 said...

Air weapons made by Brockock and once bought legaly were re catergorised as Firearms and are now illegal to own or sell without a license.
About 2000 have been registered 75,000 have not.
Stupid ill thought out bollocks again.

Ampers said...

We must all learn lessons from life.

The lesson I have learned here is, if I see a gun lying in the street, I must walk on by and hope that, if the next person picks it up, he doesn't shoot a policeman, a politician, or an innocent bystander.

I lied about the politician by the way.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting, as it directly conflicts this story here:

The police refused to pick up the loaded gun that was found, and made the man take it to the police station himself. Yet he wasn't arrested?

Dick Puddlecote said...

I see you were as speechless about it as me, OH. It really does beggar belief.

England Expects has a dandy idea though.

"Come on, the good people of Guildford, Reigate and Merstham, get down to Guildford High Court on December 11th and stop this travesty of justice taking place."

I'm not from those areas but I'd be up for that.

Edgar said...

By the time he gets out of jail, and sees what has happened to the country during the next 5 years, I'm sure he will realize what a mistake it was to hand in the gun.

SO17 said...

Just to add I would guess the vast majority of Brockock owners are unaware that they are breaking the law.
Life under New Labour, where even doing nothing is not an option.

Rumpole said...

Perhaps there might be a large number of "black plastic bagged" guns, seen in various places, which, when the police had been informed, and they came looking for them,were suddenly found to have disappeared, having probably being taken by their unlawful owner.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a case of revenge from plod ? revenge?

Ashley said...

Possibly the stupidest decision ever by the police, CPS, and jury mean that this poor bloke doing his civic duty is getting almost as much time as the killers of Baby P!

There's no justice, there is just the Law and it is an ass. Any link to a defence fund so I can contribute to the appeal costs?

Tom Paine said...

The judge must have directed the jury **very** strongly to get this outcome. Even so I am disappointed. As a juror, I would never have agreed to find him guilty. The policeman who arrested him, the CPS lawyer who authorised the prosecution, the judge who lacked the imagination to direct unconvincingly, the legislators who voted mindlessly as whipped to create another offence of strict liability and most of all every ignorant cretin who voted Labour should serve five years for every year he serves.

FireForce said...

Anything to do with firearms in this country is so pathetic.
It is time the gun laws were rewritten, but it seems as soon as idiots get into power they lose all, or any common sense they had, regarding guns.

noah said...

the moral of the story is:

do not help anyone.
do not expect to be treated with sense as those in authority have none.

do not get involved with the police in any way.

do not trust anyone in authority.

leave the uk as soon as you can.

build a boat asap!

Road_Hog said...

Well spotted anonymous, it seems others are too interested in posting there comments than reading the good ones like yours.

So Mr.Clarke gets off a charge of beating an inspector so they go after him on anything they can.

Nice to know plod is still as corrupt as ever.

black hole sunset said...

Well spotted anonymous ...

Well spotted indeed!

**** READ ANON @ 14:22 ****
**** READ ANON @ 14:22 ****
**** READ ANON @ 14:22 ****
**** READ ANON @ 14:22 ****

It's still a firewood-nails-matches scenario, though, isn't it?

Ashley said...

Doesnt matter what may or may not have happened in the past... morally he still should not have been convicted of any crime in this instance based on the public information available at present.

Besides, who hasnt wanted to beat up a traffic warden?

Anonymous said...

This just dont read right. An informed Jury would have thrown this out immediately. No case to answer, or come back with "unable to reach a decision". Im sure theres more to this story somewhere?

TonyMelody said...

Finds a black bin liner in his garden, checks the contents...
He phones up the Bill, makes an appointment (does,nt say what for), then turns up at the copper-shop, drops a shotgun with two live cartridges onto the table. BINGO!

Not exactly a bright-spark is he.

I am Stan said...

An ex soldier too was Mr Clark..served his country..lived as a law abbiding citizen..found a firearm dumped in his garden.
Did what many people would do,informed Superintendent Adrian Harper first by phone that he was coming to see him, and handed firearm in at the police station...Job done a gun off the streets you would have thought and maybe a¨thanks¨

Noooooo arrest,trial,jail!..what utter fuckwittery...

Message from police/cps/gov/jury..if you find a firearm hide it under your bed and keep your mouth SHUT!!

Godzilla said...

It would be terrible if anyone were to make public the Judges address and contact details.

guck the frampian police said...

Last straw really. Im packing up, selling up and going to live in New Zealand, taking the wife and kids. Ive got a job waiting. The rest of you can either do something about the shit youre living in, leave the country or get used to Gordon fucking you in every way you can be fucked.

Exasperated lawyer said...

Curious. Speeding is a strict liability offence (and whatever we may think about its enforcement) the Police can and do exercise discretion as to whether or not to prosecute. Once the case is brought, the Court must, however, find guilty if it can be proven that the speed limit has been broken. BUT, they can (and do) give an Absolute Discharge where there is a reasonable excuse.

That is what the judge MUST do in this case if he is not to be rendered an utter knob. And then Chief Superintendent what'shisface should be tarred and feathered for being so silly in the first place (presuming the facts, as reported, are accurate.)

SpiteK said...

@Exasperated: Aah, but it's a GUN crime, don't you see? Everything must give way to the fuckwit government's jihad on gun crime. So what if a few innocent people get locked up? It's all in a good cause! Fucking new Liebore imbecility at its best.

Anonymous said...

I can see (with hindsight) why the police wouldn't want you to pick up and return the firearm as it may have been used in a crime and now your fingerprints are all over it.

In fact, it may have been used by you in a crime and then you luckily 'found it' somewhere - no need to worry about where to hide it after that!

Saying that though at the very, very, very worst you'd expect a ticking off from the police 'You may have contaminated evidence', etc. but never in your wildest dreams could anyone expect to be charged over such an incident.


caesars wife said...

So are amenestys of fixed duration then !!

weird I mean how could they prove it was his before he found it , somthing aint quite right on this one .

Anonymous said...

Ampers said:

We must all learn lessons from life.

The lesson I have learned here is, if I see a gun lying in the street, I must walk on by and hope that, if the next person picks it up, he doesn't shoot a policeman, a politician, or an innocent bystander.

I lied about the politician by the way.


And not the filth, I take it?

black hole sunset said...

Ok, a bit tinfoil hat, but, any takers on the following:

As per Anon @ 14:22, it is known that our ex-soldier, Mr Clark, has had a brush, as it were, with his local officialdom and law enforcement professionals.

Given the law, such as it is, if one wanted to fit up Mr Clarke, then, planting a firearm where he is likely to find it would seem to be an excellent way to proceed - providing, of course, that one were confident that charges would be brought in his particular case - and especially given that Mr Clarke, as an ex-soldier, is more likely than most to handle a firearm, so planted, and thus, as we now see, incriminate himself to the tune of 5 big ones.

Quite clever, really, in that Blairite politics-in-the-style-of-destructive-sodomy way of things.

Uwinsom Ulosum said...

Fucking police...
Fucking lawyers...
Fucking jury...

Fucking cunts.
Fuck the lot of you.

Ex-soldier - surely the MOST appropriate to be handling a firearm & giving to police, even more than the non-firearms trained officers themselves?!

Roger Thornhill said...

@Edgar "By the time he gets out of jail, and sees what has happened to the country during the next 5 years, I'm sure he will realize what a mistake it was to hand in the gun."

yeh, he'd probably want to shove it in his own mouth and end it all right there and then.

The Coppers were wrong. The CPS were wrong. The Judge was wrong and the Jury was wrong. If this bloke HAD been a bad lot and they could not nail him on one charge but "got him" on another, it shows that, root and branch, the system is rotten.

Beat up a granny and you get off with a verbal warning and a day out at Alton Towers*.

* I know this does not actually happen, but figuratively speaking.

Anonymous said...

Surrey Police (slogan : "With you, making Surrey safer") have a Pledge:

" 1 We will provide ways for you to become involved with us to improve your neighbourhoods"

But don't pick up any discarded firearms and bring them to us, oh no.

No mention of this case on Surrey Police's website.

I understand 'possession' includes the stuff merely being on one's premises. If this is the case cynics who know of the earlier incident could be forgiven for thinking this looks remarkably like a stitch up. Even if the defendant had not found the gun and handed it in, the police could be 'tipped off' and voila!. "Could you please explain this to us, Sir. Would you mind accompanying us to the police station?"

Or perhaps just: "You're nicked, son."

"Strict liability", like "possession", is a perfect tool for authoritarian regimes who want to look as if they are civilised - ie have 'laws' and 'courts' instead of just killing people for fun and profit.

Dirk Diggler said...

Absolute discharges are as rare as hens teeth/rocking horse shit/eritrean cookbooks. They are a legal (polit) way of a magistrate saying Plod is a lying cunt. I nearly had one but then opened my smart mouth...

Anonymous said...

TonyMelody said...
Finds a black bin liner in his garden, checks the contents...
He phones up the Bill, makes an appointment (does,nt say what for), then turns up at the copper-shop, drops a shotgun with two live cartridges onto the table. BINGO!

Not exactly a bright-spark is he.

13 November 2009 15:43

No, he needs to work on his cynicism, big time. Five years will give him time to do that.

Anonymous said...

Lessons to be learnt from this story :

Never, ever help the Police

Never, ever be deluded enough to think that the law & the forces of law are there to protect the innocent

Always lie, lie & lie again to officials of every stripe

If you find a 'lost' gun either sell it on for gain & profit or hide it very carefully against the day when you may need to use it.

Life under NuLieBore - don't you just love it?

Marchamont Needham said...

SO17 said - Air weapons made by Brockock and once bought legaly were re catergorised as Firearms and are now illegal to own or sell without a license.

More amusing still - Brococks were illegal before 1998, but were legalised as part of the handgun ban act. Ergo the handgun ban caused much of the explosion in gun crime we've witnessed in the last ten years.

As Tone said when he passed the bill "we have taken the guns off the streets".

Anonymous said...

I hope Sky, CH4 et al get down Surrey way and stick a camera in a few faces and a microphone up their noses. Aunty won't be there though - against editorial guidelines - got to get story approval from plod and CPS...

Anonymous said...

Interesting - on the Surrey Mirror site the two 'Most viewed' articles are about Mr Clarke.

Also Comments have been turned off on both. Have any of you lot been swearing?

HairyChestnuts said...

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

In that case he may have well taken the opportunity to ettempt assasinate Gordon, because had he failed, his intention would be regarded as irrelevent.

thelunaticarms said...

I know someone who got less for firing a gun ffs. Fairplay, the plastic gangsta had a converted airgun that didn't work but the intent was there for sure.

Ain't saying no names though, otherwise I might be his next target and the next shooter he has may not be broken.

We're on our own. Fuck the Police, if they won't protect us, we have the God Given Right of seeking whatever arms we prefer. I've always fancied a fatman (nuke) but $3m is a bit too much for me (so still negotiating).

Rogerborg said...

So, the story is that a violent mongtard did something mind wrenchingly stupid and got screwed.

This should concern any violent mongtards among the company. The rest of us can sleep easy.

Anonymous said...

The previous incident could easily have been Mr clark being a good citizen also. He saw a suspisous individual and appoached him to enquire what he was doing. Said guy gets arsey with one of the 'untermensch' "don't you know, I'm a vehicle inspector."

Vehicle instector feels that the untermensch didn't show appropriate deference to an agent of the state and made up a story.

It's part of government policy that we are not to think for ourselves. We must simply do as the state orders.

Ein reich
Ein Volk
Ein Prime minister


Rogerborg said...

Yeah, could be. But I'm thinking violent mongtard. There's a lot of them around.

Anonymous said...

@But I'm thinking violent mongtard

5 years for bruising a DVLA gopher and handing in a lost firearm doesn't seem a bit steep to ya (mongtard or otherwise)?

However, under cross-examination by defence counsel Richard McConaghy, he (the DVLA guy) admitted the bruises might have been caused when he had leapt out of his vehicle to see what was going on.

Severe bruising was it?

Out of interest, just how practical is it to have DVLA people trotting around trying to spot out-of-date tax disks, given the whole system is automated so reminders and fines just roll of the end of a fucking big printer and into franked envelopes?

Curiously, Mr Hart said: "I had seen four vehicles which I was going to report for not having up-to-date tax discs ..."

Four people who presumably had reminders and fine letters at home already and could be picked up via ANPR at any point?

Old Holborn said...

Has anyone established that they are the same guy yet?

black hole sunset said...

Hum, fair point - just assumed.

Looking at the articles, the DVLA one has him as:

Mr Clarke, 26, of Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham ...

And the firearms article has him as:

Mr Clarke ... of ...Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham ...

The DVLA one doesn't mention him being an ex-soldier but they both given the name Paul Clark of the same town and street.

Not completely ironclad, admittedly.

black hole sunset said...

also, the ages match: 26 in September of last year and 27 now.

Old Holborn said...

So we have two scenarios do we not?

Mr Clarke, an angry young man, walks into plod shop with a sawn off shotgun and is nicked.


Mr Clarke, having bloodied the nose of plod once, is set up by plod big time.

Further scenarios welcomed

ronnie and reggie said...

plod dont like soldiers-

they have an ego problem.........

soldiers go and fight is shitisstan-

police? took 73 of them to remove brian haw at 4 in the morning!

brave men our met.

Anonymous said...

Lesson is, if you find a gun don't hand it in. Leave it, keep it or sell it to a crim. Simples!
I personally know of someone handing in a handbag they found and being accused of nicking it, no "thanks" from plod. 90% of plod might be fine but it's not worth the risk.

adam said...

aaahhh, another new liar voting dumb yuppie got punked.

Rogerborg said...

Well, true enough about not trying to help. The police form a third side now between crims and the honest. They're not on "our" side, and haven't been for a long time.

But Mr Clarke here? Mad and/or bad. Pretty common among ex-squaddies.

Exactly how dim do you have to be - I submit to you, y'r honour and peons of the jury - to track down and contact a Chief Superintendent to tell him about finding a gun, but manage to not actually mention that you've found a gun?

Or - sotto voce - was he acting out a vigilante fantasy, bought himself a shooter in a pub car park, then sobered up and decided to get rid of it in a way that validated his Champion of the Estate delusions?

The chap's a wrong 'un. Plod know it, the CPS know it, the bench knows it. He's more likely mad than bad, but either way, he's functional enough to be a danger. If his defence brief has an ounce of sense, he'll get him labelled as damaged goods.

Anonymous said...

One has to be VERY CARFEUL these days, dont touch anything if you can help it. Not even whsmith bag left on a bus - let some other fucka do it.

Walkin into a police station - thats a NO-NO to start with... lucky if you ever come out.

Tom said...

It's all a bit quiet on the plod side - there must have been something that made "them" go for him like they apparently have done - somebody mentioned mongtards - the jury are surely up on the mongtard radar - what possessed them? - and the transcript of the judge's should be available somewhere.

It doesn't look right - at all - any way you slice it.

Benjy said...

Tom @11:39 is right.
Smells abit iffy. I dont know about him being targetted, but I think there's alot more to it than first glance.

I cant work out why he phoned the police, and then made an appointment? Its then been in your possession for X-hours?

Surely if anyone here found such a bag in their own backyard, you would firstly approach it cautiously, put some gardening gloves on, etc... then if you must (really must) - call the polizei.

I hate to say it, but this guy (he may be a brave chap and all that) maybe just trying to get a name for himself - the DVLA scenario was also weird.

Anonymous said...

If the "plod/them" really wanted to nail this guy, they could have "pulled him" en-route to the police station. Quick 'stop-n-search' and behold its a "wots this then...?"

Anonymous said...

for all we know, he knew the police top bod because he has been trying to get the police to sort out some local problems. He could have taken said gun in to show him, as a "look at the s*** we have to deal with" example, and the copper decided to silence the annoying critic.

Till we know more facts, this is all just guesswork, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt based on current info.

Anonymous said...

Probably six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Right..Rev.Bagshot said...

Only a FOOL walks into a police station with the intention of doing 'GOOD'

The road to hell is paved with the blood of such martyrs!

black hole sunset said...

Rogerborg: "Or - sotto voce - was he acting out a vigilante fantasy, bought himself a shooter in a pub car park ..."

Vigilante fantasy, yes. The DVLA incident supports that quite well (although, even the DVLA inspector admitted that his bruises were such that they could have be inflicted by himself when he was getting out of his car).

That Mr Clark was/is mad enough to have bought the gun himself is unknown, but, assuming he didn't, it was still a tough guy routine to pop down to the local police station with firearm in tow without telling them exactly why beforehand.

Mr Clark is a mad-head, at the very least, but his real crimes seem to be more an affront to the ego of authority than damage of injury inflicted, and, as others have pointed out, there are plenty of cases where members of the public have handed in firearms - or even been instructed to do so themselves, by the police - and not been prosecuted.

Tinfoil suggestion No 2:

Given the, apparent, impracticality and redundancy of the DVLA having a staff of roving inspectors (detection and enforcement are automatic, after all), is it just a stasi warm-up gig for some future DVLA climate cop horseshittery?

Anonymous said...

I konw of a chap who deals in "DEACs" (De-activated) rifles for re-enactment groups and such like. Not too long back he came across one "LIVE" barrel. Phoned up the police, dropped it off next day, gave a few details etc - no problems whatsoever.

So either it depends on your locale, or the way you present the "problem" to the authorities.

I think we are all agreed something does'nt read right here.

black hole sunset said...

@I konw of a chap who deals in "DEACs" ...

Thanks for that, very interesting and sensible - what one would have hoped to be the case, in fact.

For any legal types out there:

Does this "strict liability" wotsis extend to a firearm simply being found in someone's garden?

It's plausible, reasonable, even, given the right circumstances, that plod/CPS would want the option of bringing charges in the case of known crimos who stash the goods in their garden but, if it is so, with CPS collusion, a fit-up is a slam-dunk no-brainer.

It's difficult to dispel the thought that Mr Clark, as flawed as his actions appear to be, is one who resisted the presumptions of authority and has paid a rather high price for doing so.

Anonymous said...

Check out:

Has an interesting couple of cases mentioned.

Bertie.B said...

Regina v Deyemi (2007) CA

The defendants were found in possession of an electrical stun-gun, which they believed to be a torch. It was held that the prosecution merely had to prove possession of the object in question, and the fact that the object was a firearm or other weapon prohibited by the Act.

It did not have to prove that the defendant had known or could have known that it was a prohibited weapon.

black hole sunset said...

Big thanks to legal peeps for links and comments.

Strict liability seems clear enough in the case of safety regulations (food, construction, chemicals etc.) and sexual concent, but the other cases (at hubpages, for instance) seem, to me at least, to lack consistency.

It would be interesting to know if the application of strict liability is on the increase, such are the times we live in.

I guess I'm really trying to feel around for the edges of the legal concept in order to determine - in the context of Mr Clark's predicament - how easy, or otherwise, it might be for plod/CPS, were they so minded, to manufacture a presumption of guilt by planting certain items on or near "a person of interest", as they like to say.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, Birmingham City Police (pre-WestMids police) had a bit of a reputation for fitting up some "bad boys" as they termed them.
In one instance undercover police purchased a dozen Jemmy's (Crowbars) from a supplier outside the county and proceeded to "fit up" prospective candidates. One argument being that the cops knew these guys were guilty of something - just could,nt prove it.

black hole sunset said...

Thanks Anon, some serious "necroposting" going on here but why the hell not =)

Perhaps there's a lot more to Mr Clark's story than meets the eye - in the absence of quality (i.e. old school) investigative journalism, we'll probably never know - but, taken at face value, the reported actions of the police, CPS and Judge appear ridiculous in the extreme and not a little sinister.

The idea siding with plod where the fitting up of known wrong'uns is concerned has always seemed like a self refuting proposition:

* Plod supposedly know that some bloke or other is guilty but can't prove it - this doesn't speak well of their competence as police officers.

* Plod then knowningly break their own laws by organising a fit up - this doesn't speak well of their integrity as police officers.

* Officers who fit up suspects are most often associated with forces or units with a given force that are known to be, or strongly suspected of being, corrupt - presumably, the threat of being fitted up is sufficiently powerful to buy a cut of the action.

Fit ups, for the most part, seem to be the work of lazy, incompetent, untrustworthy and probably corrupt officers who've given up on the detection and investigation that they're actually trained and paid to do in favour of malignant criminality.

Anonymous said...

One is reminded of the Thames Valley force and "operation countryman".

If I rmemeber right, the investigation was brought to a close due to corruption being that widespread, the force itself nearly collapsed.

Not a sheep said...

This story was so so wrong that I couldn't even find the will to blog about it. This country is so fucked up when this can happen and it's not a major story.

Anonymous said...

Gun find soldier walks free from court
Friday, December 18, 2009

A former soldier who faced five years in jail after finding a shotgun and handing it in to police will be spending Christmas at home.

Paul Clarke, 27, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for possession of a firearm at Reading Crown

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