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Jailed: 57-year-old caught with 'arsenal of weapons' in boot of his car near Romford Market

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 19 June 2019

John Sidoli has been sentenced to eight months in prison for possessing four offensive weapons in a public place. Picture: Havering MPS

John Sidoli has been sentenced to eight months in prison for possessing four offensive weapons in a public place. Picture: Havering MPS

Havering MPS

A 57-year-old man has been jailed for eight months after he was found with weapons including a crossbow and a fake gun loaded with blanks in the boot of his car.

John Sidoli, of Whittington Road, Hutton, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court, this morning, Wednesday, June 19, after he had pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place at an earlier hearing.

Judge Timothy Greene said: "Collectively having all four weapons in your car massively aggravates the offence.

"These are not just items that have been thrown into the boot.

"This was a very deliberate act to put all these items together and have them available to you."

Sidoli, who was already known to police, was stopped by officers on Thursday, June 6, after he was seen driving suspiciously in Market Link, Romford.

The court heard "officers smelt drug residue" from inside the vehicle so searched the car.

In the boot, officers found a crossbow with six-inch steel tip bolts, a loaded imitation handgun, an adapted snooker cue and a knife.

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No drugs were found in the car.

Mitigating on his behalf, Irshad Sheikh told the court he had a previous conviction for possessing an offensive weapon in the 90s when he was "very young and very immature".

He also has a 94-year-old aunt who is dependent on him for "shopping and helping around the house" and is a father to a five-year-old in Bulgaria and a 40-year-old in Italy.

Mr Sheikh said Sidoli has not explained why he had a knife, imitation firearm and snooker cue in his boot but indicated that he wanted to go to prison "to get away from someone".

When questioned about the crossbow, the defendant said during a snooker competition held in Harold Hill, a competitor threatened someone else with the weapon and Sidoli took it away for safe keeping.

He described this as a "responsible act".

Sidoli was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment and an order was issued to destroy all of the weapons.

Summarising, Judge Greene said: "You were found to have an arsenal of weapons in the boot of your car.

"I don't know what is going on in your life but I hope you are getting support.

"I don't want it to be the case that you did this for a chance of getting a prison sentence."

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