Clay pigeon shooter blasted for paperwork fail in Mansfield

Mansfield Magistrates Court.

Mansfield Magistrates Court.

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A clay pigeon shooter from Mansfield will probably be banned from shooting after he failed to fill in police paperwork for two shotguns, a court has heard.

Roger Keith Pickering, 69, of Green Lane, Mansfield, was convicted of failing to comply with the conditions of a shotgun certificate on May 18, and appeared for sentencing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard Pickering, who owned two shotguns, had held a firearms licence since 1992 and his latest licence expired on November 22, 2015.

But when officers from the Firearms Licensing department called to remind him, they found he had failed to inform them of two changes of address, in March 2013 and November 2014, which is a condition of holding a licence.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, said: “He said he didn’t realise how important it was to notify police of that.

“He said his guns were kept in a cabinet, bolted to the floor.

“He also accepted that he failed to sign a certificate.”

Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “There is a context for this and there’s a reason why a responsible man committed these offences.”

He said that Pickering’s 16-year marriage ended in 2010 and his building company ‘imploded’ around the same time.

Pickering was bankrupted and forced to find a new home with three children.

“I am afraid what has happened is that life has gotten in the way of something that should have been quite a simple procedure,” said Mr Perry.

“He was bouncing from place to place with three children. He admits he didn’t keep his house in order.”

Pickering immediately lodged an application to renew the licence and made arrangements for the guns to be stored with a licence holder, said Mr Perry.

He said Pickering was a keen clay pigeon shooter, but the police would probably oppose any application to renew his licence because of his conviction.

Magistrates fined Pickering £100 and ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.

They reminded him that he could appeal against the refusal of an application.