Community order for Telford man with fake weapons and replica police and MI6 ID badges

A man who was found with a haul of illegal replica guns and fake police IDs at his home has been given a community sentence.

 Shrewsbury Crown Court
Shrewsbury Crown Court

Philip Bleasby was arrested after officers armed with a search warrant visited his Leegomery home in Telford as part of a nationwide firearms crackdown.

Nine of the 14 blank weapons seized in the operation carried out by West Mercia Police and the National Crime Agency were prohibited firearms.

The 55-year-old pleaded guilty to nine counts of possessing a forward-venting weapon designed to release a noxious substance on July 15 2019.

The hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that the matter had been subject to an abuse of process application by the defendant relating to the case. That application was subsequently rejected by the court.

Miss Holly-Louise Kilbey, prosecuting, said: “The police attended the home of the defendant under the Firearms Act.

"They found various blank firearms, he having purchased them in Spain. The police seized in his bedroom 14 firearms.

“They also found replica police ID badges, MI6 ID badges and Sky press badges.”

She said Bleasby’s actions were aggravated by his previous conviction in 2013 for possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of an offensive weapon in 2016.

Enthusiasts

Mr James Bourne-Arton, defending, said: “He is an ill-thought through collector of these blank firearms.

"They were stored in his bedroom in their carrier cases – and beyond showing them to other enthusiasts that is all they were intended for. He is entitled to credit for his guilty plea.”

Mr Bourne-Arton told the court that Bleasby was unemployed and was being treated for a bi-polar disorder.

For the nine offences Bleasby, of Hadley Park Road, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement to attended 30 probation activity days.

He will not be subject to a curfew due to “exceptional reasons” of his health issues.

He must pay the victims’ surcharge. No costs were ordered due to him being on benefits.

Judge Anthony Lowe ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the nine guns and that a weapon previously returned to the defendant must be collected by West Mercia Police within seven days.

“Even though I refused the application to stay the abuse process that is not to say that I have been particularly impressed with the way the police have handled the matter,” the judge added.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News