Charity boss James Jones appears in court over firearms charges

BBC Tees

The boss of a Teesside charity that delivered aid to Romania has appeared in court charged with a string of firearms offences.

James Jones, known as Rod, has run Convoy Aid Romania for almost three decades.

He is accused of possession of ammunition for a firearm when prohibited, possession of a self-loading rifle, possessing a firearm when prohibited, and possession of a firearm of length less than 30cm.

The 71-year-old, of Douglas Street, Middlesbrough, is also accused of evading around £18,000 of duty on cigarettes and illegally possessing around £32,000 in cash.

Jones entered no pleas when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court via video-link.

The case was adjourned until 22 October.

Vicar hands in starting pistols during firearms surrender

Four starting pistols have been handed in to police in Birmingham as part of a firearms surrender.

The Rev Christopher Parkes, from Burntwood Methodist Church in Birmingham, gave the weapons in after they had been stored in a safe for at least 12 years, West Midlands Police said.

Mr Parkes said the guns had been handed in "so they don't get into the hands of criminals or other people where they can be used for the wrong purposes".

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How is a firearm surrender different from a gun amnesty?

Unlike an "amnesty", weapons may be tested to see if they've been used in a crime. While people won't be prosecuted for previously owning the guns, they may face charges if they can be tied to a crime.