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Man found in possession of paintball gun handed four month prison sentence

Armagh Magistrates' Court

A Markethill man has been handed a four month prison sentence after a paintball gun, which required a licence, was located in his home during an unrelated search.

The 49-year-old’s barrister told court: “The case is that it would be okay for him to have held that paintball gun on the field but he would not be able to take it home.”

Eric Daniel Woods, of Neills Villas, Loughgilly pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without a certificate at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on January 10, the defendant’s home was searched in relation to another matter during which a paintball gun was located and seized.

This was sent to a forensic scientist who established that Woods would require a licence in order to be in possession of this model of paintball gun, as it had a kinetic energy in excess of one joule.

The defendant was invited to attend a voluntary interview on January 21 but refused.

Defence barrister Stephen Campbell stated: “Mr Woods is a serving prisoner with a release date of May 2020; he was a member of two airsoft clubs in Newry and Banbridge, as well as a paintball club.

“The case is that it would be okay for him to have held that paintball gun on the field but he would not be able to take it home.”

District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “I always thought that this was the type of thing people did on stag dos, I did not think there were clubs.

“He does have a conviction in the past of possession of a weapon, that was a stun gun, and also for possession of ammunition without a licence.”

Woods was sentenced to four months in prison and District Judge Watters ordered for the destruction of the paintball gun.

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