York & North Yorkshire

Gary Hyde arms deal trial to be reviewed

The collapsed trial of an arms dealer accused of helping to ship guns without the correct licence is to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

The trial of Gary Hyde, 42, of Mask Lane, Newton on Derwent, near York, was halted by Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.

Mr Hyde had denied charges in relation to the 2007 shipment of thousands of guns and millions of bullets.

Prosecutors say they will challenge the judge's decision to discharge the jury.

After hearing confirmation from Mukul Chawla QC that the Crown intended to appeal, the judge told Southwark Crown Court on Friday: "The matter is suspended for the Court of Appeal."

'Two fingers'

Mr Hyde had denied two charges of breaching the Trade in Goods (Control) Order 2003 and one charge of concealing criminal property.

When he discharged the jury on Thursday, Judge Loraine-Smith said he had concluded the case had to "fail in law".

He added that it related to the framing of the order concerned, which had been replaced in 2009.

The court had been told the shipment of weapons, from China to Nigeria, was made up of 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols, along with 32 million rounds of ammunition.

The prosecution had argued that as the shipment had been partly arranged and organised from the UK by Mr Hyde, it required a licence from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Mr Hyde's lawyer Stephen Solley QC had told the court that his client was not somebody who sticks "two fingers up" at the regulations.

He added that Mr Hyde had no criminal record and served for seven years as a special constable.

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