ABSENCE OF EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFYING DEVIATION FROM FIVE-YEAR STATUTORY MINIMUM TERM IN S.51A FIREARMS ACT 1968

The statutory five-year minimum term in the Firearms Act 1968 s.51A was intentionally draconian and was meant to act as a deterrent to the possession of firearms. In the instant case, which concerned the importation of Taser devices and stun guns disguised as mobile phones or knuckledusters, a recorder had been wrong to find that there were exceptional circumstances justifying a suspended sentence; the fact that the weapons were not lethal, and that the 61-year-old offender was of good character and suffered from depression, fell short of being exceptional.

[2013] EWCA Crim 135