When a workman went to the Hemel Hempstead home of Kirk English to service a boiler, he became alarmed when he saw what he thought was a revolver.
As a result, he contacted police who the following day attended the rented home of English, 42, and saw for themselves the German made gas cartridge revolver which was capable of firing air pellets.
On Thursday, June 4 Luton Crown Court was told that anyone owning such a weapon was required to have a firearms certificated and English did not.
As a result, he appeared in court today to admit a single charge of possessing a firearm without a certificate.
Daniel Siong, prosecuting, said it was on January 14 this year when the weapon was spotted in the rented home of English by someone who had arrived to service the boiler.
At the time the weapon was dissembled, and Mr English was not present.
The court was told that in fact the weapon looked more powerful than it was and there were other air guns much more powerful which didn’t require a certificate.
But it was capable of firing lead air gun pellets and a certificate was required for this particular weapon.
The weapon had been found by the police at the defendant’s home in Glenview Road, on Tuesday, January 15 this year, the day after the workman had attended the property to service the boiler.
Judge Mark Bishop hearing the case said that prior to 2004 the gas cartridge revolver could have been held lawfully without a certificate.
He said that to the untrained eye the weapon would appear much more powerful than it actually was.
The judge said guns were a “scourge” on society and if they fell into the wrong hands were capable of causing fear and distress to people.
English was given a three-month community order during which time he will be subject to a three-month curfew between the hours of 7pm to 7am Sundays to Thursdays.
The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the weapon.