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Police raid home of 73-year-old ‘gut nut’ who built lethal firearms in his workshop

A self-described ‘gun nut’ who crafted his own high-powered firearms from scratch from his home workshop in Havering has been sentenced to prison.

Raymond Frederick Nugent, 73, cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the guns and designed his own firing mechanisms.

He was caught after a tip from the National Crime Agency (NCA) led detectives to discover the cache, which he had been building for many years.

Nugent of Coltishall Road, Hornchurch, was sentenced yesterday by Snaresbrook Crown Court to seven and a half years in prison.

A self-described ‘gun nut’ who crafted his own high-powered firearms from scratch from his home workshop in Havering (pictured on bodycam) has been jailed

Raymond Frederick Nugent, 73, cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the guns, and designed his own firing mechanisms

Raymond Frederick Nugent, 73, cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the guns, and designed his own firing mechanisms

Raymond Frederick Nugent, 73, cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the guns, and designed his own firing mechanisms

He had been found guilty of 45 firearms offenses at an earlier hearing.

The NCA alerted the Met after intelligence showed that Nugent had imported a blank firing weapon from the Czech Republic.

In November 2018, an arrest warrant was executed at his home under the Firearms Act and officers discovered a number of safes. Inside, they found batches of firearms and ammunition carefully packed and stored.

Nugent was arrested and taken for questioning at an East London police station as police continued to search the address.

From the initial inspection, it was clear to specialist agents on the scene that he was in possession of viable firearms. They have been seized and taken for examination.

Incredibly many of these were items that Nugent made himself from scratch in his workshop, using drills and vices to create weapons that are fully firing. An expert pointed out at trial that one gun Nugent had produced was in fact 25% more powerful than a factory-produced firearm of comparable caliber and style.

Detectives got a tip and discovered the cache, which Nugent had built over many years

Detectives got a tip and discovered the cache, which Nugent had built over many years

Detectives got a tip and discovered the cache, which Nugent had built over many years

Nugent of Coltishall Road, Hornchurch, was sentenced yesterday by Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) to seven and a half years in prison after police found his stash

Nugent of Coltishall Road, Hornchurch, was sentenced yesterday by Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) to seven and a half years in prison after police found his stash

Nugent of Coltishall Road, Hornchurch, was sentenced yesterday by Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) to seven and a half years in prison after police found his stash

Also among the cache were a number of deactivated weapons that had been reactivated, while others—including a stun pistol, an Italian Bruni (BBM) Model ME .38 caliber revolver, and a Turkish Atak 914 self-loading 9mm pistol—were found. turned into fire. He also had converted blank ammunition that could be fired.

During the interview, Nugent described himself as “a gun geek,” but said he had no intention of firing or selling the guns.

He was released on bail and later released for investigation while further investigations were conducted.

He was sued by mail in October 2019.

Detective Superintendent Victoria Sullivan, Specialist Crime, said: “While no evidence of any criminal activity related to Nugent’s activities was found, the arsenal in his possession was deadly and in the wrong hands quite capable of incredibly cause serious damage.

“Thanks to the prompt and decisive cooperation with our colleagues at the National Crime Agency, who alerted us to Nugent, we were able to bring him to justice here.

Nugent had cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the weapons, and designed his own firing mechanisms

Nugent had cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the weapons, and designed his own firing mechanisms

Nugent had cut cardboard templates before pressing metal to make the weapons, and designed his own firing mechanisms

In November 2018, a warrant under the Firearms Act was executed at his home and officers discovered a number of safes

In November 2018, a warrant under the Firearms Act was executed at his home and officers discovered a number of safes

In November 2018, a warrant under the Firearms Act was executed at his home and officers discovered a number of safes

“These efforts were recognized by the judge who praised our investigating officer.”

Detective Sergeant Andy Henderson, investigating officer, said: ‘This investigation shows how we will try to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in the production of dangerous weapons.

‘The weapons are now destroyed after the criminal trial has ended. It’s sheer luck that Nugent himself managed to avoid serious injury during production; though some may seem crude, it is a very dangerous undertaking, and anyone involved in similar activities should be well aware of the consequences.’

Nugent was charged with the following: possession of a prohibited firearm; convert thing/imitation thing into a firearm; possess a firearm with a length of less than 30 cm/60 cm – prohibited weapon; shorter shotgun barrel – less than 60.96 cm / 24 in; manufacture weapon/ammunition specified in s5(1) of the Firearms Act 1968; possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate; possession of items for use in connection with the conversion of imitation firearms.

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