Military memorabilia collector jailed for five years over terror scare

A man with an interest in militaria who lived alone with his cats has beenjailed for five years for possession of a prohibited firearm.

Counter-terror police were initially involved when Clinton Hicks was arrestedat his home in Lowestoft last year, prosecutor William Carter told anIpswich Crown Court hearing, held over Skype.

Suspicions that Hicks, 59, might be involved in terrorism "fell awayduring the investigation", Mr Carter said.

Clinton Hicks Credit: Suffolk Police

Judge Emma Peters, sentencing, said Hicks showed the arresting officers an item wrapped in black plastic - a revolver - and told them "you will be looking for this".

He admitted at an earlier hearing to possessing a prohibited firearm, the itemseen by officers at his home in Normanhurst Close on July 28.

Mr Carter said Hicks bought the revolver from a Spanish company in September 2018 and "no product would have been sold by them with a clear or unobstructed barrel".

Mr Carter said the revolver was modified at some point between its purchase and Hicks's arrest, adding that there was no evidence on who did this, but Hicks - who served in the Territorial Army for 10 months in the 1980s - "would be as well placed as most".

The gun had been modified Credit: Suffolk Police

He said the revolver could only fire blanks, but "it would be possible to putblank cartridges into the chamber with a projectile in front of them".

The revolver was therefore a "lethal barrelled weapon", Mr Carter said.

Edward Renvoize, mitigating, told the hearing Hicks said he had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and heart problems, and had had a "deeply-troubled upbringing".

Mr Renvoize said the revolver "isn't a reliable firearm", adding:

"This was purchased as part of his interest in militaria, a hobby, an unusual hobby though that may be."

Judge Peters said the revolver was "certainly capable of being fired in alethal context".

A psychological reported showed "some oddities" with Hicks but there was no verification of his PTSD claim, she said.

Jailing him for five years, Judge Peters said:

Police at the scene

"Essentially you're a loner, a relatively strange man of 59 living with your cats."

Judge Peters

Watch Malcolm Robertson's report from the scene last July