A HUNTSMAN who was found not guilty of trying to murder his Benenden ex-lover, has been jailed for owning a shotgun without a licence.
Brian Fraser, 63, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday morning to eight months imprisonment.
The shotgun was found by officers who were investigating the shooting of 55-year-old Louise Leggatt at her home in Benenden on Thursday, 15 March last year.
Fraser was acquitted of the shooting but admitted possessing a shotgun unlawfully.
When challenged by officers he initially denied any knowledge of the gun, however faced with incontrovertible evidence he admitted the shotgun was his.
The gun had been stored among hay bales alongside 40-rounds of ammunition.
Officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Sergeant Rebecca Benson of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate welcomed the news.
She said: “This case reflects an irresponsible approach to firearms ownership.
“Storing a working shotgun alongside ammunition in an open space where anyone could have got their hands on it is nothing short of reckless.
“I hate to think of what may have happened if the weapon had been found by children or someone intent on committing a crime.
“This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence and will no doubt warn others of the need to licence their guns and store them in a responsible manner.”
Judge Charles Byers also issued a restraining order against Fraser in relation to future contact with Mrs Leggatt.