A convicted armed robber who hid two sawn-off shotguns in his loft in Pembury has been jailed for nearly 8 years.
Stephen Castle had been banned for life from possessing any firearm following previous sentences for firearms offences.
Castle, aged 50, had been jailed for 10 years in 1997 for a robbery on a Tunbridge Wells jeweller. In 2007 he was sent to prison again after planning another robbery in Sussex.
When Kent Police searched his Bellfield Road home on 28 January 2015 they found weapons hidden under loft insulation, along with 10 shotgun cartridges.
Further suspicions were raised following the discovery of bags containing walkie talkies and Halloween masks.
What appeared to be a disguise kitbag was also recovered from the loft, containing several articles of Royal Mail clothing.
Castle was arrested and during police interview denied any knowledge of the firearms.
He claimed other items seized were ‘fancy dress’ and toy radios used by his children, even though he had no children under the age of 18.
DNA and fingerprintsForensic tests later detected his DNA on one of the guns, while Castle’s fingerprints were also on material wrapped around the second weapon.
Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court Castle pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a firearm and of possessing a firearm when prohibited for life.
On 9 July he was sentenced to a total of 7 years and 8 months in prison.
"Castle had gone to considerable lengths to hide weapons in his home, carefully wrapping them in bin liners and bags before concealing them under loft insulation. As well as the seized shotguns, he was unable to explain the presence of post office uniforms, masks and walkie talkies, which were all set to the same channel. It is highly likely that Castle was planning to carry out a serious offence and clearly the best place for him is behind bars. I’m pleased the courts have recognised the danger he poses to the public and that the judge has passed what is a substantial prison sentence."
The Conservatives have held onto their seat at Tunbridge Wells. Greg Clark has been elected as an MP for the Tories.
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A couple from Kent are appealing for the return of a gold chain belonging to their dead son, which was stolen from a police station. Adam Baldock from Tunbridge Wells died in a horrific accident, while working as a tree surgeon. The chain he was wearing was kept as evidence for an inquest, but disappeared from a storeroom. Malcolm Shaw spoke to Adam's parents Chrissie and Phil.
A man has been charged with murder following the discovery of a body at a recycling centre in Tunbridge Wells.
Police and ambulance crews were called to Cory Environmental Ltd in North Farm Lane at 6am on Monday morning following reports of a stabbing.
David Squelch, 48, of Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, has been remanded in custody to appear at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on 11 March.
Police are hunting a three-man gang who raided a jewellers in Kent, terrifying staff and shoppers. The robbers, armed with sledgehammers, escaped on motorbikes after smashing their way into the store in Tunbridge Wells and grabbing high-value stock. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to eyewitnesses Steve Bovis and Georgina Taylor-Colville.
A mother of a three-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis is trying to raise thousands of pounds for equipment which will help her daughter to breathe easier. A vibrating vest will help clear her airways and improve her quality of life. Tom Savvides talks to Becky Mann, the mother of Isabella Henderson, and to Jeremy Marris from the charity Tree of Hope in Tunbridge Wells.
More than 50 parents and children waving banners and placards have protested on the green in Benenden about the need for a new village school.
Benenden Primary has planning permission for an entirely new school to replace its crumbling buildings – but no funding.
The school is currently split across two sites - one dating back to the 17th century - and children have to cross the busy main road through the village to walk between them. It currently has no school hall or dining hall, and no kitchen.
The Department for Education is in the process of considering which schools will be awarded funding for new buildings.
Detectives investigating a serious assault in which a man was attacked in his own home have renewed an appeal for witnesses.
Robert Reynolds, 60, suffered multiple fractures to his skull following a sustained assault in Dorking Road, Tunbridge Wells on Monday, May 26.
The alarm was raised by a friend who found Mr Reynolds lying on the floor and groaning in pain.
Two months on from the incident the victim has now left hospital and is recovering from his injuries. However, his mobile phone has a distinctive JCB yellow cover, and his wallet are still missing.
Detective Dave Bull, of Kent Police, said: ‘This was a vicious and sustained attack which has left the victim suffering shocking injuries. It appears that entry to the property was not forced and we are still actively pursuing a number of enquiries as to establish the motive for this attack, including that Mr Reynolds may have known the offender.’
Anyone with information should contact Kent Police on to 01732 379203, quoting reference YY/10419/14. Alternatively, call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Three males have been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs after Kent police officers searched an address in Tunbridge Wells.
Officers found cash and quantities of substances believed to be heroin at a property in Rowan Tree Road on 9 October. Two men, aged 19 and 20, and a 16 year-old-boy were arrested.
All of the suspects are from the Tunbridge Wells area and have been bailed, pending further enquiries until 11 December.