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.

  • Wayne Smith

    I must echo the comments of Rod Newnham; This is a case of ignorance, pure and simple. A custodial sentence will not discourage any self respecting criminal to think twice about discarding an illegally held firearm after reading about this case.

    I sincerely hope that the courts will demonstrate a degree of common sence in this case, rather than make an example of an otherwise Law abiding citizen.

  • Rod Newnham

    Considering the Firearms Act – with subsequent amendments – is in being to prevent disturbance of the peace and to protect the public, i.e. to deter and convict criminals, would it really be in the public interest to sentence Mr Farmer, a councillor and an otherwise law-abiding person, to 5 years, or any other term?

    All too often the Act is used by police forces desperate to prove they are tough on armed crime and good at catching those who actually misuse firearms.