Devon

Gun collector raided Cobbaton Combat Museum in Devon

A gun collector raided a Devon military museum to steal rare World War II weapons.

Michael Cassemis, 44, used the cover of a charity weekend at Cobbaton Combat Museum near Barnstaple to raid the storeroom, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He stole deactivated rifles, revolvers, sub machine guns and ammunition worth £3,200.

Cassemis, of Walpole Close, Llanrumney, Cardiff, admitted burglary and handling stolen goods.

He was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work as part of a 12 months supervision order and ordered to pay £340 costs.

'Mean offences'

He was traced by police because his car was spotted in a photograph taken at the museum, the court heard.

Officers raided his home in Cardiff and found the weapons in his bedroom.

The court heard that the haul included two Russian AK 47s, a Chinese assault rifle, a Bren gun, a Japanese World War II sub machine gun, and Webley, Smith and Wesson and Browning revolvers.

Recorder Mr Nicholas Wood told him: "These were mean offences. As an enthusiast you should understand how others will feel about depriving a small museum of items of this sort."

Oliver Willmott, defending, said Cassemis took them as a collector rather than for any sinister purpose.

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