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Man found with bullets in hand luggage at Liverpool John Lennon Airport is jailed
A MAN who was found with bullets stashed in a shoe at John Lennon Airport as he attempted to fly to Dublin has been jailed for six years.
Michael Dermot McMahon, 63, was going through security at the airport when an X-ray of his luggage was brought to the attention of the police by security staff.
He was detained and asked if had packed the bag himself. McMahon said he had and it contained nothing that should not be there.
Police searched the bag in front of him and found a shoe which contained a small grey drawstring bag in which there were 13 live rounds of ammunition and two spent cartridges.
Following a subsequent search of his house in School Lane, Rainhill, a black self-loading pistol was found hidden in a wooden beam above his bed as well as more ammunition.
Under interview McMahon said that he had bought the gun three or four years earlier as there had been a series of violent robberies affluent houses in his area and he wanted to improve the security in his home.
The search also unearthed another self-loading pistol hidden in a boot in the kitchen with two live rounds in the magazine. He told officers that the weapon was given to him by his aunt many years ago and he considered it to be an antique.
McMahon also claimed it was kept in a cabinet and he had never fired it.
At a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, McMahon pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of a firearm, four offences of possession of ammunition without a licence and an offence under the Aviation Security Act 1982 regarding possessing dangerous items in an airport.
He was sentenced to five years for the firearms offences, 12 months concurrent for the bullets in his house plus a year for the airport security offence.
According to police, McMahon has never satisfactorily explained why he had the weapons and ammo and what they were intended for.
Detective Chief Inspector Will Chatterton of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit said: “This case demonstrates how rigorous airport security can have an impact on keeping our streets safe.”