In the first instance, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told that Jason Fellows, of Ashby Road, Woodville, was helping three strangers clear the boot of a Volkswagen Jetta he had agreed to buy in Bradford when he picked up a package that turned out to be a shotgun.
According to a report in the Burton Mail, although the 43-year-old quickly returned it to the Jetta owner, he didn’t realise the seller was being looked into by West Yorkshire Police as part of a big drug investigation.
Despite Fellows saying that he held the weapon for under a minute, when the seller was arrested three weeks later in December 2012, police found the gun with Fellows’ fingerprints on it.
Fellows was also in trouble for running over a man near Wolverhampton in February 2013. The man allegedly jumped out in front of his car with a ‘slasher’ during an unrelated family feud after using his van to block the road, the court was told. Fellows’ son was in his car at the time and Fellows claimed that he feared for his son’s life so drove into the other man and knocked him into the air.
Tom Harrill, mitigating, said: ‘Both these offences stem from poor decision-making. He held the shotgun for less than a minute and in the confrontation feared for his son’s safety.’
Fellows was given a 12-month supervised community order, including 120 hours of unpaid work, as well as a 16-week night-time curfew after pleading guilty to possessing a shotgun without a certificate and assault. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.