OP TARGET: Man sentenced after huge firearms recovery
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In December 2019, officers arrested a 56 year old man after they conducted a warrant at an address in Sutton Leach, St Helens and seized over 150 weapons.
On Friday (22nd January) just over a year later, officers welcomed the sentencing of William Hesketh, now aged 58 of Mill Lane, Sutton Leach to 3 years imprisonment.
Officers attended Hesketh’s home on 10th December 2019 to conduct a warrant under the offensive weapons act.
Inside a shed at the back of the house, they located numerous weapons including 57 firearms/air weapons, 40 large knives/machetes, 38 air pistols, 20 folding knives, ten swords, three crossbows, two axes, two wooden handled flick knives, two knuckle dusters, a zombie knife and a Taser.
Hesketh was arrested at the scene for firearms offences. Following a yearlong investigation, helped least of which by the national coronavirus pandemic, Hesketh eventually appeared at Liverpool Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to multiple firearms offences and was sentenced to 3 years behind bars.
DC Chris Clark said: “This result shows the consequences of owning any weapon can bring. Not only this, Hesketh stored these dangerous weapons in his garden shed, putting himself and the wider community at significant risk if they were to fall into the wrong hands.
“I welcome his sentence and I hope this encourages others to tell us if they know where weapons are being kept, who has them and who is using them.”
If you know someone storing, buying or carrying weapons, please get in touch – either DM @MerPolCC, contact @CrimestoppersUK anonymously or call 101.
NOTE: William Hesketh pleaded guilty to: possession a prohibited firearm, 2 counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate, 2 counts of possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate and 2 counts of possession of a weapon for the discharge (a noxious liquid / gas / electrical incapacitation device).
Amongst the weapons that were stored in his shed (as pictured), Hesketh was also found with a prohibited loaded firearm under his bed – this is an illegal weapon which had been converted from a blank firing gun.