A leading British National Party activist who admitted unlawfully possessing ammunition and gunpowder has escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Police officers who went to a static caravan at Black Dyke Farm near Lakenheath in April last year, where David Lucas had been staying, found a plastic tub containing a small amount of gunpowder and 2,500 rounds of ammunition that he wasn’t authorised to possess, Ipswich Crown Court heard. Lucas, 49, of South Road, Lakenheath, admitted possessing gunpowder without an explosives licence, two offences of possessing prohibited ammunition and one offence of possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate.
Sentencing Lucas, Judge David Goodin said the offences crossed the custody threshold but agreed to pass a 12-month sentence suspended for 12 months after coming to the conclusion that Lucas was eccentric rather than a danger to the public. He ordered Lucas to pay £250 towards prosecution costs and ordered him to reside for 13 weeks at his mother’s house. He told Lucas that in the wrong hands the ammunition was potentially dangerous and warned him to take more care in the future.
Jonathan Davies for Lucas said his client’s attitude had been “negligent and indifferent” rather than a flagrant disregard for the law. He said the small amount of gunpowder found in the caravan was used to set off traps on the farm and he had collected the ammunition over a number of years and planned to display some of the cartridges in picture frames in hunting and fishing lodges.
Mr Davies said Lucas had led a law-abiding life and had been made bankrupt after losing his transport business because of the foot and mouth outbreak in the county in 2001. He said Lucas helped local people by being a parish councillor and was well-respected locally.