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Man jailed for 11-years for possession of gun arsenal

Dominic Birch's guns
Dominic Birch's guns

A man has been jailed after amassing an arsenal of weapons - including a submachine gun - in his bedroom.

Dominic Birch, 21, was jailed for 11 years at Derby Crown Court with Judge Nirmal Shant saying: "One only has to look at the headlines to know how dangerous guns are."

Hundreds of live rounds of ammunition were found after a police raid at his house in Harpur Hill, Buxton, along with a Glock pistol, an AK-47 style weapon, a Skorpion submachine gun and another gun disguised as a pen, Derbyshire Police said.

Birch was found guilty of possessing firearms with the intent to endanger life after previously pleading guilty to importing firearms and ammunition illegally.

The court heard he bought the items online.

Judge Shant said: "It's a mystery to those around you as to why you have involved yourself in these matters.

"You are a young man who is somewhat of a mystery to those around you. All describe you as a good, kind son, employer, boyfriend and worthwhile friend, which is in stark contrast to the haul of weapons you stored in your bedroom."

Mitigating, Adrian Farrow said: "These were genuine and loaded firearms for which there was no lawful intention. There is no evidence that he would have used any of the firearms at any point."

Birch was originally charged after police intercepted a package heading to his house containing an uzi and was due to be sentenced in February this year.

But while on bail, officers from Derbyshire Police received intelligence he had illegally purchased a handgun, silencer and ammunition.

The force then raided his address and found the guns as well as a "significant quantity" of Class A and B drugs.

Detective Inspector Shaun McElheron from Buxton CID said: "It may seem appealing for some people to use the internet for unlawful purposes and think that they are subsequently not identifiable. This investigation has shown that this is not the case.

"We will continue to work with overseas agencies to ensure that people purchasing and importing illegal firearms are stopped in their tracks and brought to justice."

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jason Hendy of the Met Police's Trident and Area Crime Command, who were involved in the investigation, said: "Birch is a very dangerous individual who had no qualms about obtaining lethal firearms, including a submachine gun.

"The destruction such weapons could have caused can only be imagined and I am pleased that he has now been jailed for a significant period of time."