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Ex-shop owner locked up after pistol among weapons arsenal seized

The owner of a shop were a gun and an arsenal of other weapons were seized by officers carrying out a routine visit has been put behind bars.

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Wolverhampton Crown Court

Raja Abbas Rafique was arrested after a modified pistol which he had no permit for, an air gun, a baton, a slingshot, a knuckleduster, a club and metal bars were confiscated by police and trading standards officers at Bentley Mini Market, in Bentley, Walsall, on January 26 last year.

The defendant was sentenced on Wednesday following a trial of issue hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court which heard that he pleaded guilty to the offence of possession of a firearm on the basis that his father Mohammed had given it to him shortly before his death in 2021.

Rafique, aged 37, previously admitted possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of offensive weapons, possession of cocaine and possession of cannabis. But the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the basis offered for him possessing the pistol which had been converted into a firing weapon.

Recorder Ben Nicholls told him: "I am satisfied that your shop had an arsenal of weapons to scare and threaten."