A company director from Staffordshire turned up at Birmingham Airport with a Second World War revolver in his luggage because he didn’t want to leave it at home while the decorators were in.
Barton Simpson, director of a letting agency, intended to leave the .38 Smith & Wesson in his car but forgot to get it out of his bag, a court heard.
The 56-year-old, who inherited the gun from his father some 40 or 50 years ago, was given a 12-month community order with 140 hours unpaid work and told to pay £800 costs. He was arrested in May last year after turning up to catch a flight to Croatia on business.
The court heard that when he put his bag on the conveyor to take it through the x-ray machine, security staff saw him put his hands to his face and hesitate. After going through the personal metal detector, he volunteered he had a gun in his bag.
Simpson, of Stafford Street, Eccleshall, near Stafford, denied possessing a prohibited firearm but pleaded guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court to an alternative offence of possessing a dangerous article “having the appearance of a firearm” in an airport.