Elvis impersonator sent to jailhouse for illegal gun stash

Derrel Weaver, the lead singer of Elvis Presley tribute band DW and The Road Rockets, wore tinted aviator sunglasses while in the dock. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police /PA Wire

An Elvis impersonator who sparked a huge manhunt has been jailed for five years for stashing illegal firearms at his farmhouse, including in a room he kept as a shrine to his rock and roll hero.

Armed police closed off a primary school and sealed off a village amid a 24-hour hunt for 60-year-old Derrel Weaver when he went missing in June after an incident at his home.

Officers searched Weaver's 25-acre home and found nine unlicensed firearms hidden around the Cornwall property, including two which were prohibited without the authority of the Secretary of State.

During Weaver's trial, Exeter Crown Court heard:

Weaver admitted 11 firearms offences but pleaded that he had never fired the prohibited weapons, which he had inherited from his father who had collected the guns after serving in the special forces.

He held a licence for five other firearms kept in a locked gun cabinet, which he and his partner used to shoot animals at their property.

Ammunition was stored in an upstairs room at Weaver's home that was otherwise dedicated to the 'King of Rock and Roll', seen here in 1974. Credit: Phil Roach/allaction.co.uk /EMPICS Entertainment

Police were called to Weaver's Higher Widlake Farm in Widegates near Looe on June 26 but found he had already left the building.

The singing impersonator was eventually found shooting rabbits and foxes on his land while police scoured fields and woodland.

The judge said the "sheer number" of firearms at Weaver's home and the insecure way they had been kept meant he could not hand down a lighter sentence.

The judge also made an order that the guns be seized and destroyed.