Jonathan Farmer, a councillor and former town mayor, has been charged with possessing a James Bond-style firearm after a World War Two pistol was found at his home.

Mr Farmer says the German Walther PPK pistol originally belonged to a friend who took it off a German officer during the Battle of Monte Cassisino in 1944. It’s the same gun that James Bond chooses to use and the only model all of the Bond actors have used.

Mr Farmer says he was given the World War Two pistol after his friend’s wife didn’t want it in the house. He believed it was deactivated.

“When he gave it to me, he said not to fire it because it had been deactivated,” he told the Fenland Citizen. “He said it would blow my hand off, so I never did and I assumed it was pretty safe.”

When the police turned up with dogs, Mr Farmer showed them to the gun. He explained: “It was all rather genteel really. But I suppose I shouldn’t have kept it. It was a sentimental thing – and it’s a beautiful piece of engineering. Now I’m likely to go to prison for five years – that’s the way it’s looking.”

The gun is classed as a prohibited weapon under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. According to the CPS, the prosecution only needs to show that the defendant knew he had a firearm in his possession. It doesn’t matter what he knew or what he thought it was.

Mr Farmer appeared before King’s Lynn magistrates this week and is due to appear at Cambridge Crown Court on April 22.