Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertfordshire man sentenced for England riot weapons hoard

A man who kept weapons and explosives at his home after becoming worried by last summer's England riots has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Nicholas Erith, 54, was sentenced to 16 weeks, suspended for a year, after pleading guilty at St Albans Crown Court to having a prohibited weapon.

Erith of Watford, Hertfordshire, was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £520 in costs.

Smoke grenades, pepper spray and BB and paintball guns were found at his home.

David Chrimes, prosecuting, said Erith, of Alva Way, ordered paintball pellets and the prohibited pepper spray canisters on the internet from the US in December.

The court heard on 3 January the order was intercepted by the Border Agency and the following day his home was raided and searched.

Erith admitted having "weapons designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas".

Carl Woolf, defending, said his client had bought the items in the wake of last year's riots, but they had never left his property, which he shared with his elderly mother.

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