A CHESTER man who was photographed on a mobile phone holding a sawn-off shotgun has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Gary Smith, of Sycamore Drive, Lache, admitted possessing the firearm at a hearing at Chester Crown Court yesterday after he was photographed holding it by friends, but refused to declare who owned the gun.
The Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, said it was “deeply depressing” that a 23-year-old man would not reveal anymore about the whereabouts of the gun and said he had no choice but to impose a sentence of five years imprisonment.
John Oates, prosecuting, said two mobile phones seized in connection with Smith contained photographs taken on October 8 of him holding the weapon in a caravan.
There were three other pictures of the shotgun stored on the phone.
Smith had refused to reveal the current location and owner of the shotgun.
Oliver King, defending, said his client argued the gun was not his and instead belonged to a friend, and it was handed straight back to him after the picture was taken.
He added Smith believed he was “more than capable” of surviving prison life and knew he was heading for an immediate sentence.
Summing up, Judge Edwards said: “It is very sad that a 23-year-old feels no remorse for the fact he was photographed carrying a sawn-off shotgun.
“Holding that weapon is the reason you are guilty.
“The guidelines for this offence are severe but they are set by Parliament to discourage weapons like this being in circulation.
“Therefore I’ve no choice but to impose a sentence of five years imprisonment.”