OFF THE WIRE
A biker who was found guilty of having a sawn-off shotgun and a CS gas spray has been jailed for five years.
A jury at Worcester Crown Court returned 10-2 majority verdicts in both charges against Michael Higgins, aged 45.
Judge Philip Parker QC said that possession of the items could only be for criminal purposes, not legitimate use.
The shotgun may not have been in working order, but it could have been fired. The CS gas canister was working.
“I don’t believe you had any criminal purpose in mind,” he told Higgins.
“But I am satisfied that you were keeping these items just in case the need for some violent incident occurred, in which case you would have these items available to you.”
There was no ammunition, but Parliament has decided that anyone in possession of a sawn-off shotgun must serve a minimum of five years in jail.
Police found the items in a garden shed in Herefordshire.
Higgins, who first gave his address as Port Street, Evesham, distanced himself from the property in Dean Swift Close, Goodrich, near Ross-on-Wye.
Detective Constable Dave Bentley of Hereford CID, said: “A sawn-off shotgun has only one use and that is in crime.”
The biker, who now lives in Thompson Place, Whitecross, Hereford, was said to be a member of the Black Pistons motorcycle club.
His partner, Linda Richards, said he spent most weekends at parties arranged by motorcycle clubs across the country and sometimes abroad. She would regularly go with him.