A gun dealer has been jailed for 12 years after being caught with a revolver like those used by gangsters in old American films.
Joshua Reid was arrested at his home in Willow Tree Court in Howard Drive on August 17 last year by police who were expecting to find cannabis, but who came away with two guns and ammunition.
Reid, 24, who said he wanted to be a legitimate gun dealer, showed the officers a shotgun that was in a case and then produced the revolver from a chest of drawers in his bedroom, St Albans crown court heard.
Text messages were recovered from Reid's Blackberry phone. One read: "Got a couple of burners (guns) for sale." Another referred to "10 bore dotties" - slang for shotgun cartridges.
Prosecutor Isabel Delamre said the guns were tested. It was possible to fire the pre-1939 vintage ten-bore shot gun using modern cartridges. The revolver could also be fired, but not very powerfully. The case had been shortened to take bullets filled with shotgun cartridge powder.
Reid, who called himself Aggz, said he had bought the shotgun for £600 and paid £500 for the revolver. He told the police he was not working but was buying and selling antique weapons on the internet. In all he said he had sold eight or nine guns.
Reid pleaded guilty to possessing a ten-bore shot gun with no certificate, possessing a prohibited firearm (the revolver), possessing .44 revolver cartridges, possessing cartridges for sale and putting a section one firearm up for sale. He had a previous conviction for robbery from 2007.
Helen Valley, defending, said Reid had co-operated with the police and showed them the guns.
She said: "He has no previous convictions for firearms. From a very young age he has an interest in how things work. He is a qualified locksmith and wants to be a legitimate gun dealer."
Jailing him, Judge John Plumstead said: "The prohibited weapon is a genuine pistol like those carried by old fashioned gangsters in American films, It is a genuine, sinister and terrifying and prohibited weapon that could fire live ammunition. It is a working murderous pistol and there is no legitimate reason for possessing it. Dealing in pistols is a major crime."