Firearms dealer jailed in illegal weapons hoard case


A firearms dealer who helped supply the biggest hoard of illegal weapons ever uncovered in the UK has been jailed for six years.

Police found 463 illegal firearms, including rifles, machine guns and an anti-tank missile, along with 200,000 rounds of ammunition in a secret room at the home of crane operator and parish council chairman James Arnold, 49, in the village of Wyverstone, Suffolk.

Arnold died of cancer before he could face prosecution but gunsmith and firearms dealer Anthony Buckland, 65, of Stoke Holy Cross, Norfolk, who supplied a small number of the weapons, faced a trial late last year.

He was found guilty of 11 counts of selling a prohibited weapon and nine counts of fraud at Norwich Crown Court.

Jailing him on Friday, Judge Stephen Holt said: "When the police searched Jim Arnold's home they found a vast collection in a secret room which could only be accessed by crawling through a safe.

"But you are to be sentenced for what the jury convicted you of and not the vast collection of firearms that Mr Arnold had.

"In your profession a great deal of trust had been placed in you and it is quite clear you abused that trust."

Buckland, who the court head has serious health problems, shook uncontrollably as sentence was passed.