I wouldn't attach too much credibility to Sporting Shooter answers online. They advise Polecats can be legally shot and when I rang BASC for confirmation they also quoted the Sporting shooter answer as she went online whilst I was on the phone! Only after a lot of digging myself did I find that Polecats were added full protection in 2006. Remember ignorance is no defence. I've checked the H.O PDF's I have but not found an answer yet, although I've certainly read it somewhere.
If you're suggesting that I'm something to do with the publication, then I'm not. Simple as that. Never have been or will be.
Alsone, the entire case in that article seems to be, forgive the expression, a cluster f**k.
The judge is quoted by the Daily Mail saying "I AM QUITE SATISFIED THAT YOU ARE NOT A CRIMINAL". He has then ordered that the guns be returned to the defendant. He is further quoted as saying "COMMON SENSE" should apply.
It would seem from reading it that the police have become frustrated at the defendant not co-operating with them to destroy the gun or accept a caution so have decided, obviously they must have had an admission from the defendant, to charge him. I can see how that could happen, particularly when the gent openly admits to being a re-enactment enthusiast and admitted to having the weapon. They would not need any other evidence to charge him. I also very much doubt the Crown Prosecutors were consulted before he went to court. What I read in the papers I treat with caution and believe about a quarter of it, so who knows.
It would quite obviously be for a legal test in court to establish whether the vehicle itself was a public place at the time, which by the definition in the Act the offence is supposedly under, it is not. I am happy to be proved wrong if you can show me that a private vehicle, where legally held firearms are concerned, is always a public place if it is being driven/parked in one. The question is, do the public have access, on payment or otherwise, to your vehicle.
To my mind, reading that article, the defendant would have more than ample "reasonable excuse" to have his antique deactivated weapon with him but seems to have been bullied by ill-informed and risk averse police officers. Again, what I believe and what I read are two different things when it comes to newspapers.
We can go around in circles debating the point but the above article shows what can happen when situations are misinterpreted and it leads back to the whole point of the thread in the first place, exercise common sense and 99% of the time, situations like this can be avoided.