Police are reminding people to remain vigilant and always report anything suspicious after a man was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for a firearm offence.
Working together, Suffolk Constabulary and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command disrupted the illegal activities of Clinton Hicks, 59 ) of Normanshurst Close, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
On Sunday, 28 July 2019, Hicks was arrested at his home address for a firearms offence by Suffolk Constabulary in a pre-planned operation in which they recovered a ‘converted’ firearm (a blank firing gun converted to a live firearm). He was then taken into custody at a Suffolk police station and charged with possession of a prohibited firearm, contrary to section 5.1 of the firearms act.
During the search of his address by Suffolk officers, a quantity of various chemicals were also discovered. As a result, detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command were called to carry out further enquiries. However, following further assessment of the chemicals, no related offences were identified.
On Monday, 27 January, on the first day of his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Hicks pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a prohibited firearm, contrary to section 5.1 of the firearms act. He was sentenced today, Friday, 17 April, to a total of five years’ imprisonment.
Commander Richard Smith, head of Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “I am very pleased with today’s sentence which has seen a man in possession of a dangerous weapon jailed for a considerable time.
“The Met works with other police forces and security services to provide a counter terrorism network throughout the UK and abroad to investigate suspicious activity such as that carried out by Hicks. Today’s result was a direct consequence of that network.
“From the outset, Suffolk and Met police swiftly came together to arrest Hicks, secure the area and safeguard the public, whom I also praise for assisting police with their enquiries.”
Superintendent Paul Sharp, Policing Commander for the Lowestoft area, said: “This incident last July caused a great deal of disruption for local residents in the area at the time so it is pleasing to see Hicks given this sentence. I once again thank those affected for their patience and understanding during the course of the incident whilst properties were evacuated and roads closed.”