A factory worker has been jailed for three years for hoarding hundreds of deadly weapons in his house – and enough ammunition to arm a battalion.
Unassuming Karl Dowling, 48, was found with 4,000 rounds of assorted ammunition, hand grenades and machine guns stuffed in every room in his house.
The shocking arsenal was so big Dowling was also forced to stash some of his weapons in his loft and carriage.
Firearms officers discovered the lethal haul they were forced to evacuate the other homes in Dowling’s sleepy cul-de-sac
Ipswich Crown Court heard Dowling was a fanatical gun collector and held a firearms licence.
But most of the shocking weapons seized – including automatic machine guns – were not covered by the licence and were being kept illegally.
Suffolk Constabulary officers raided Dowling’s home in market town Haverhill in Suffolk, on February 10 this year.
The Bomb Disposal Squad had to be drafted in after when police unexpectedly found a grenade in the collection.
Dowling admitted six firearms offences including unlawful possession of prohibited automatic firearms, hand guns and rifles at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday.
He also admitted two charges of possessing ammunition without certificate and was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.
A neighbour in the quiet road, who asked not to be named, said: “We didn’t really know what was going on. The police just came and closed off the end of the street.
“It is a worry now to think that he had all those weapons in there.”
Another said: “The Karl I know was a friendly, placid bloke.
“If there was snow on the ground he would be the first one out there with a shovel.”
Allan Cole, firearms expert for Suffolk Constabulary, examined and classified 250 exhibits for the case.
He said: “We would like to take this opportunity to urge anyone who has a firearm and does not have a licence or is concerned that one or more of their firearms is not covered by a current licence to contact the Firearms Licensing Department and avoid something like this happening again.”