Bloxham scrap dealer Tommy Smith was given a suspended jail sentence today (Friday) at Oxford Crown Court after pleading guilty to possessing offensive weapons.
Smith who helps run the Smiths of Bloxham scrap yard on Bloxham Road with his family, pleaded guilty to possessing a shot gun, a stun gun and a pepper spray on January 31.
The weapons were found at his home at Ironstone Lodge on Bloxham Road by officers carrying out enquiries under the auspices of Operation Symphany, a 2012 crack down on illegal scrap dealing.
The court heard officers found Spanish-made shot gun in Smith’s bedroom with cartridges in the pocket of a security jacket. They also found a working pepper spray and stun gun.
Smith, 37, told the court he had believed the shot gun was covered by his father Peter Smith’s gun licence but the prosecution asserted this would not have been the case unless it was kept in a locked cabinet which Smith did not have access to.
Sentencing Smith Judge Patrick Eccles told Smith: “You made a very serious mistake in relation to the shot gun and you probably know that.
“You have to understand that the courts take the possession of shot guns very seriously because they can be a menace to the public if they get into the wrong hands, but knowing as I do quite a lot about you, I am prepared to suspend your sentence.”
Smith’s lawyers had offered the explanation that weapons including hand grenades and tank shells come through the scrap yard on a regular basis to be disposed of as scrap. Smith was given a 16-month suspended jail sentence and was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.