Huntsman sentenced for firearm

A huntsman from Kent who was cleared of shooting his former lover outside her country home is due to be sentenced for possessing a firearm without a licence.

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Huntsman jailed for gun possession - Kent Police statement

Gun found by detectives Credit: Kent Police

A man who stored a shotgun and ammunition between bales of hay on his farm has been jailed.

Brian Fraser, 63, of Criol Lands Farm, Shadoxhurst, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for possessing a firearm without a licence.

The shotgun was found by officers who were investigating the shooting of 55 year old Louise Leggatt at her home in Biddenen on Thursday, 15 March last year.

Fraser was acquitted of the shooting but admitted possessing a shotgun unlawfully.

When challenged by officers he initially denied any knowledge of the gun. However, faced with incontrovertible evidence he admitted the shotgun was his.

The gun had been stored among hay bales alongside 40 rounds of ammunition.

Det Sgnt Rebecca Benson said: "This case reflects an irresponsible approach to firearms ownership. Storing a working shotgun alongside ammunition in an open space where anyone could have got their hands on it is nothing short of reckless.

"I hate to think of what may have happened if the weapon had been found by children or someone intent on committing a crime.

"This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence and will no doubt warn others of the need to licence their guns and store them in a responsible manner."


Huntsman jailed over unlicensed gun

Brian Fraser Credit: PA

A huntsman cleared of shooting his former lover outside her country home has been jailed for eight months for possessing a firearm without a licence.

Brian Fraser, 63, was found not guilty last month of the attempted murder of Louise Leggatt, 55, and also causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.

Prosecutors had claimed he shot Mrs Leggatt as she went to tend her horses at Apple Pie Farm in Benenden, Kent, after she rejected his efforts to rekindle their romance following the end of their five-year relationship.

Following a two-week trial, married Fraser, a former joint master of the Ashford Valley Hunt, was found not guilty of shooting his former girlfriend at around 9.30pm on March 15 last year.

But at Maidstone Crown Court today, Fraser, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst, near Ashford, was jailed after earlier pleading guilty to possessing a firearm without a licence.

Judge Charles Byers said Fraser will serve up to half his jail term and the remainder on licence.

He also imposed a restraining order banning him from contact "directly or indirectly" with Mrs Leggatt or any member of her family.

Jailing Fraser, the judge told him it was "the most serious case of its type" and that the public expects the highest control of firearms and ammunition.

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