Man fined after being caught with air gun in Wearside country park

A man found with an unloaded gun in a Wearside country park by police has been fined by a court.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:00 am
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

David Churchill, 21, of Derwent Street, Easington Lane, was located after reports from the public of two men using a weapon at Hetton Lyons Country Park on Friday, October 18.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the Churchill was approached by police and immediately laid down the air rifle and complied with requests of the police officers to identify himself.

He has now been hit with fines and other costs of almost £200 – and will lose the air gun, which has been permanently confiscated by order of the court.

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Churchill pleaded guilty to possession of an air weapon in a public place when he appeared before the magistrates’ court.

The court heard there had been no damage to the park.

Prosecutor Jeff Taylor told the court: “Police receive reports of a couple of males in Hetton Lyons Country Park.

“A weapon is alleged to have been used in a wooded area. It is not near a dense area of housing.

“Mr Churchill is in possession of a weapon and officers ask him to put it down, which he does. It’s unloaded. Mr Churchill gives his details.

“There is no indication that there was any damage to the park.”

Ian Martin, defending, said: “Mr Churchill cooperated with the police from the outset.”

Churchill was fined £120 and must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.