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Stand off may have been caused by gun confiscation

The following report is from the Wisbech Standard.

The armed siege in Sutton St James near Wisbech came to an end last night at around 10.30pm when police entered a council house and found the body of a 70 year-old wheelchair bound man.

Neighbours told reporters that Horspool may have reacted badly to news that police wanted to seize his weapons.

Police confirm no shots were fired by officers. The incident has been referred to the IPCC to investigate.

One police officer received facial injuries during the melee but the officer was later discharged from Boston Pilgrim Hospital. Police played down claims that the officer had been fired at.

Officers established that the man was alone in the property, isolated the area and initiated a firearms response operation.

Friends said his gun licence had been under review and he may have reacted angrily after officers tried to seize his weapons, which he used for pigeon shooting.

Throughout the day a cordon was established and those in their homes within the area were asked to remain there.

A significant police presence was drafted in, including support from Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire officers, along with East Midlands air support.

Trained negotiators engaged with Horspool occasionally being heard to shout through a loud hailer: ?Pick up the phone Barry – we?re here to help you. Let us know you?re OK.?

Neighbour Carl Murley, 48, said: ?I know Barry has kept shotguns in the past, I?ve been out shooting with him myself.?

Another man, who described himself as a family friend, said: ?Barry has been ill over the last three years. He had a stroke two years ago, carries an oxygen canister and uses a mobility scooter.?

?I think he was devastated to lose his freedom. He wouldn?t have wanted to surrender his guns, but he would never harm anyone. Barry had worked as a farm labourer all his life. It is hard work. He had to retire early due to ill health.?

Villagers were asked to go to nearby houses of friends or relatives, or make their way to Sutton St James Primary School in Bells Drove.

Lincs police said today a guard had been placed around the house overnight: the matter has been referred to the IPCC for investigation.