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'Dangerous': Jail for man who sparked Oswestry armed police raid

By Marion Brennan | Oswestry | Crime | Published:

A ‘dangerous’ man from Oswestry who ordered a gun and ammunition from America on the dark web because he said he was afraid for his life has been jailed.

Left; a police marksman in Oswestry. Right; Kieran Prime and the handgun and ammunition he bought.

Kieran Prime’s attempt to arm himself with a block handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition was foiled following an international police operation that ended in a raid by armed police officers on his flat.

The parcel, addressed to A. Roberts, was intercepted in New York where special agents discovered the illegal cargo hidden inside an amplifier, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

The British authorities were alerted and a replica package sent to the defendant’s Oswald Road address as a trap.

Both uniformed and plain-clothed officers were at the scene

Waiting police marksmen pounced soon after the decoy parcel was delivered and the 21-year-old was arrested.

Inside the flat, officers found a notebook filled with Prime’s delusional beliefs about threats by the state to contaminate the air and water supply with chemicals, and other perceived perils.

Prime wrote about ending his own life ‘before they do’, expressing fears about nuclear warfare, famine and being shot.

Officers found a blank-firing handgun and 65 rounds of blank bullets in the living room which, although not illegal, were ‘perhaps relevant in this context’, said Mr Matthew Brook, prosecuting.

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Massacres

An examination of the defendant’s iPhone and laptop revealed searches on how to sneak illegal firearms through airport security and the postal system, how to make a gun at home, the location of UK police stations and stories on shooting massacres. There were also selfies of himself holding a firearm.

When armed police with dogs raided his home on September 6, Prime told them: ‘It’s me you’re looking for’. The court heard he had one previous conviction as a juvenile for threatening another boy with a knife in a public place.

In his defence it was said that Prime suffered from profound mental health issues which were exacerbated by a haphazard attitude to taking his medication and his use of cannabis.

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The court heard that he suffered from high-functioning autism, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Anthony Bell, defending, said Prime was not taking his medication at the time of the offence. He said he had ‘turned his life around’ while on remand and was not a danger to the public.

But Judge Roderick Henderson, who read a letter from the defendant and testimonies from his family, disagreed, saying that although Prime had talked about killing himself, it was significant he had ordered 50 bullets and he therefore considered him a risk to the public.

Describing Prime as a ‘classic conspiracy theorist’, the judge told him: “I regard you as dangerous.”

The defendant, who pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition without a certificate, was sentenced to a total of four years and eight months in prison, with an extended licence of four years on his release.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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