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Firearms dealer alleged to have sold prohibited guns

A firearms dealer from Norfolk has appeared in court in connecton the discovery of a secret gun room in a Suffolk village.

The prosecution claim 65-year-old Anthony Buckland from Stoke Holy Cross near Norwich was selling prohibited guns. Some were section five firearms which are banned in Britain. He's charged with 20 firearms - linked offences.

Prosecuting barrister Andrew Oliver told the jury at Norwich Crown Court that Mr Buckland has a section five licence which allows him to deactivate weapons but not sell them in this country.

He said the alleged offences came to light after police discovered a large stash of weapons at a house in the Suffolk village of Wyverstone in 2014. They included machine guns, rifles, shotguns and ammunition.

The owner of the property was parish council chairman James Arnold who was arrested in connection with the find but died while awaiting trial.

The prosecution say that five of the firearms found in Mr Arnold's secret gun room were on Anthony Buckland's licence.

When arrested, he said he didn't know how the weapons had ended up in Mr Arnold's possession.

Mr Buckland has denied all the charges against him.

The trial's expected to last up to three weeks.

Judge allows defendant's cat into court

A Judge at Chelmsford Crown Court has allowed a defendant to bring his cat into court Credit: Press Association

A Judge sitting at Chelmsford Crown allowed a defendant to bring his cat into court this morning to help him stay calm.

Aiden Wiltshire sat in the dock whilst his cat Taylor watched proceedings from a wheeled shopping trolley, poking his head out of the top to see what was going on and to be continually stroked by Wiltshire as the hearing unfolded.

Judge Charles Gratwicke, the senior judge at the court, had given permission for Taylor to be present after being told by Wiltshire’s lawyer, Gavin Burrell that his client was “someone who suffers with health issues and is emotionally supported by his cat.”

“It's a crutch which he relies on. It's in a basket and not roaming free. I appreciate it sounds somewhat odd but there's documentary evidence that the cat does provide emotional support for the defendant to cope."

– Gavin Burrell, Lawyer

Wiltshire, of Brownings Avenue, Chelmsford, is accused of two offences of stalking. He has not yet entered any pleas.

His case was adjourned until the new year.


Cambridge MP to vote against Syria air strikes

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner who says he'll be voting against air strikes in Syria Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour MP for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner says he'll be voting against UK air strikes in Syria when it's debated in the Commons tomorrow. He said

“I will be voting against air strikes in Syria tomorrow because I do not believe a credible and convincing strategy has been presented to defeat ISIS/Daesh.

UK military action in Syria needs to have a clear legal basis - this remains in dispute.

It is widely acknowledged that air strikes will not be enough, yet included in the 70,000 ground troops David Cameron expects to help are untrained freedom fighters from the Free Syrian Army and splinter organisations of ISIS/Daesh.

These are not forces which we can rely upon.

We need a credible strategy to defeat ISIS/Daesh, not risking making the situation worse.”

– Daniel Zeichner MP

Man jailed for multiple sex offences

Kujtin Rexha, who has been jailed for sex offences against a 17 year old girl Credit: Essex Police

A man is today starting an 11 year prison sentence after he was found guilty of three counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Kujtin Rexha, 43, of Jeffreys Road, Braintree, denied the charges during the six day trial, which was held at Chelmsford Crown Court. The jury reached a unanimous verdict after eight hours of deliberation.

The court heard that Rexha was arrested in May following an investigation into offences at a car wash in Colchester Road, Little Bentley.

His victim, who is from Romania and was 17 at the time of the offences, was made to sleep in his caravan against her will. Her ordeal lasted two and half months.

Rexha was found guilty of two single counts of rape, plus one count of rape which took place over the two and half month time period, and two counts of sexual assault.

Essex Police raided the car wash after the victim contacted police to say she was being held against her will.

Detective Inspector Leighton Hammett, who led the investigation, said:

"I would like to thank the victim for her bravery in coming forward to report what was happening to her.

She was a vulnerable young woman who had come from to a foreign country and was made to perform sexual acts against her will"

– Det Insp Leighton Hammett, Essex Police

Police launch crime busting advent calendar

The Essex Police Advent Calendar Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police have launched a Christmas safety advent calendar on their website and social media channels.

Every day in the run-up to Christmas, a new window will be available to ‘open’, revealing advice on a range of topics, including personal safety, Christmas shopping, driving and how to protect your home if you are going away.

Some topics are accompanied by video messages from crime prevention specialists on ways to stay safe and prevent crime.


Mum's anger over failure of rail crossing safety feature

Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson Credit: ITV News Anglia

The mother of one of two teenage girls killed at Elsenham level crossing in Essex says she's angry a safety feature installed after the tragedy has not been working.

Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton were hit by a train in 2005.

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the accident.

Olivia's mum recently visited the site and found the automatic locking system was broken. Although it has since been fixed she says it's "critical" it doesn't fail again.

Flowers left at the scene in 2005 Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Let us learn from the death of Olivia and Charlie because that's the only legacy that they can leave. They didn't achieve what they could have done in their lives, but through their deaths hopefully we can make some changes."

– Tina Hughes MBE, Olivia's mother
Elsenham, Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

Network Rail has closed 987 crossings since 2010 and has recruited staff who carry out risk assessments and inspections at each crossing.

There are currently 870 level crossings in East Anglia with more than 100 level crossing managers employed at Network Rail.

Each has responsibility for the safety and management of crossings in a geographical patch.

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