York & North Yorkshire

Gary Hyde arms deal trial collapses

The trial of an arms dealer accused of helping to organise a shipment of arms, from China to Nigeria, without the necessary licence has collapsed.

Gary Hyde, of Mask Lane, Newton on Derwent near York, had been on trial at Southwark Crown Court in relation to the 2007 shipment of thousands of guns and millions of bullets.

Mr Hyde had denied the charges.

The judge discharged the jury on Thursday, saying he had concluded the case had to "fail in law".

The court had been told the shipment 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 had denied two charges of breaching the Trade in Goods (Control) Order 2003 and one charge of concealing criminal property.

His defence team had told the court that Mr Hyde was not somebody who sticks "two fingers up" at the regulations.

The judge, Nicholas Loraine-Smith, told the court on Thursday that he was discharging the jury.

He said: "I have come to the conclusion that this case has to fail in law, on the particular facts of this case."

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

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites