Court rejects farmer’s gun licence appeal

Bill Edwards, 21, at his home near Scalby, who has been cleared after a shooting incident last year, when he found and shot at, thieves trying to steal scrap metal.  Photo by Andrew Higgins 130217c    07/01/2013
Bill Edwards, 21, at his home near Scalby, who has been cleared after a shooting incident last year, when he found and shot at, thieves trying to steal scrap metal. Photo by Andrew Higgins 130217c 07/01/2013
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A Scarborough farmer, who lost his gun licence after blasting an intruder, has failed to get it back.

Police stripped Bill Edwards’ certificate off him after he fired his shotgun to scare off David Taylor, after he drove his car towards the 23-year-old’s mum at the family’s Scalby farm.

Public safety is of the upmost importance

Julia Mulligan

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but despite being cleared of any crime, the force still refused to hand back his licence or his £3,000 gun collection - a move he claimed would leave him unable to work.

Now the former boarding school pupil has lost a costly court case against North Yorkshire Police to have the licence reinstated;

Mr Edwards claims he’s considering appealing, while North Yorkshire Police say they are “pleased” with the outcome of the Leeds Crown Court hearing.

“As with any firearms licensing matter, our primary concern is public safety,” said a force spokesperson.

“The Court firmly held that North Yorkshire Police had made the right decision to revoke Mr Edwards’ firearms licence and shotgun certificates.”

Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan added she was “satisfied” with the result, although all three parties are largely reaming tight lipped due to a further future court date.

Both North Yorkshire Police and Julia Mulligan are being sued by Mr Edwards, over claims the commissioner defamed him in a radio interview relating to the 2012 incident.

Mr Edwards claims those comments have left him unable to find work, while the force’s legal team was beefed up prior to the case, which has already been postponed once.