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Monday, 31 March 2014

Labour Party Lord Mayor, charged for not having a shotgun certificate.

Former Lord Mayor of Leicester Robert Wann has appeared in court charged with not having proper documentation for a shotgun.

The Labour Party Leicester city councillor and former chairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland Police Authority attended the City Magistrates Court yesterday accused of not having a certificate for a Lincoln Number 2 Interchoke weapon on January 17, in breach of the 1968 Firearms Act.

Mark Williams, prosecuting, asked for the case to be adjourned for four weeks to allow the police to give Wann a caution for the offence.

No details of the alleged offence were given to the court during the short hearing, but Mr Williams said there were no aggravating features.

He asked for the matter to come back before the bench, if the police did not issue a caution.

Certificates are issued by the police and are needed to possess, buy or acquire a firearm or shotgun.

The court was told Wann, 51, of the Dunton Bassett Arms, Bennett's Hill Dunton Bassett, had a licence to possess firearms.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address. No plea was requested because of the adjournment.

After the hearing, Wann, who represents the Thurncourt ward, told the Mercury he had been advised not to speak about the case but he did say he would not be standing again when the city council holds elections next year.

The city council's Labour group chief whip, Councillor Neil Clayton, who is in charge of disciplinary matters among members, said he had been unaware of the issue before he was contacted by the Mercury.

He said: "As whip, when things like this happen it's my responsibility to discuss the matter with the member in question and take any action that is appropriate.

"Robert has not spoken to me about this. I will speak to him."

Coun Clayton said possible sanctions ranged from a warning to withdrawal of the whip.

If Wann received a police caution it would not mean he is disqualified from being a councillor. That happens only if a three-month prison term is handed down.

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