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.