A FARMER who lied on an application to own a shotgun has been spared jail.
Phillip Taylor was told he faced up to six months in jail, after pleading guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to a charge of making a false statement to procure a shotgun certificate.
The 35-year-old failed to declare his previous convictions on the form, when applying for the certificate in August.
He pleaded guilty to the charge last month, and the case was adjourned for the probation service to prepare a report about him.
When Taylor, of Hylton Grove Farm, West Boldon, returned to the court to be sentenced, he was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the Bench Russell Hewitson said: “We considered this case carefully, and you know that we could have handed you a custodial sentence of up to six months.
“But we’re not going down that route and will give you a community order.
“However, this is a very serious matter.
“If you do not comply with the order, for whatever reason, you will be brought back to court and the next step is jail.”
John McGlone, prosecuting, said: “He has a number of previous convictions that he didn’t mention in the application.
“One question on the form specifically asks if the applicant has any previous convictions, and states that any motoring offences, convictions from another country or those classed as spent must be mentioned.”
Defending himself, Taylor said: “I had a recent CRB check and wrote to the DVLA to ask if there was anything on my driving licence.
“They said there wasn’t anything on there, so I thought I was OK.
“I realise now I should have looked into it more, and done more at the time.
“I regret it now.”