Stun guns found at home of finance guru to the rich and famous
A finance guru dubbed an advisor to the rich and famous was found with two stun guns in his home – one disguised as a torch.
Frank Cochran’s house at Marston Gables, Church Eaton in Stafford, was raided by police on October 6 following a tip off from his ex-wife amid their break-up, a court heard.
On arrival, the 58-year-old, who runs Wolverhampton-based FSC Investment Services Limited, in Waterloo Road, told officers they would find the two guns in a kitchen drawer and a sports bag containing martial arts training equipment featuring other ‘ornamental weapons’.
After being arrested Cochran – who has shot for the British Olympic trench team and represented Scotland in clay pigeon shooting competitions – told investigators his ex-wife bought the two weapons from a shopping mall in California, America, in March 2014.
He said they were assured by the seller other people had frequently taken such items back to the UK.
He said US Customs officials at Orlando airport discovered them in his suitcase during a search but did not challenge him further letting him carry the stun guns onto the plane.
Cochran told Stafford Crown Court, because his wife – at the time – was feeling ill they left the airport back in the UK in a hurry but said there were no customs officials around to enquire about the contents of his bag.
He said: “I had no reason to challenge it. The seller said they were taken into the UK by a lot of people then there was no further challenge from the US Customs officer.
“When we were in the UK there was no indication whatsoever or no signs saying do not bring these items into the country.”
Whilst he was on the stand, prosecutor Douglas Lloyd put it to Cochran that he had a knowledge of UK firearm restrictions because he had held a certificate to possess shotguns for more than 30 years.
However the defendant said he only knew specifically about shotguns, which he owned because he took part in competitive shooting.
He added: “There is no way in a shooting context, among a close group of people dedicated to the sport, you would have reason in particular to discuss stun guns.”
The court heard that the weapon disguised as a torch had a depleted battery with only enough power for the torch to be used and not the stun gun.
While a charger for the device was not present in the home.
The undisguised stun gun did not have a battery inserted when police seized it although when they inserted one to test it they found it was in working order with blue sparks shooting out.
It was conceded there was no evidence to suggest either device had been used or taken out of Cochran’s home.
He pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a disguised firearm in relation to the torch and another count of possessing a prohibited weapon in relation to the undisguised stun gun.
The first count automatically incurs a minimum five year immediate jail term, however Judge Matthew Chambers QC, declared due to the circumstances the offence had ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Subsequently he sentenced Cochran to 12 months for each offence, to be served concurrently, suspended for two years, and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £535.
Defending Cochran, who previously founded Celebrity Financial Planning –dealing with super rich stars thought to include top-flight footballers – barrister Andrew Baker had told the court originally there were three shotguns in the house but Cochran’s ex-wife had left with one and then told police there were two more as well as two stun guns left in the property which prompted the raid. In mitigation said his client had no previous convictions but ‘faces ruin’ because of the conviction.
He added: “This is a man not only of good but exemplary character. He is highly spoken of by a wide and varied selection of people. He has achieved a great deal in his life and has a position of some responsibility.
“He has shot at the highest level. He has professional qualifications.
“There is no suggestion of any inpropriety in terms of the licence he has held for 30 years. There is no suggestion these items were taken out of the house, recharged and intended for use by him.
“They had been there for several years disused.”
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