Published: 18:17, 27 September 2017
Security staff at Dover docks stopped a car on its way out of the UK and found a loaded James Bond-style gun.
They notified the National Crime Agency who seized the Walther PPK - the gun used by Ian Fleming’s famous spy.
The man carrying the weapon claimed to be just a 59-year-old music teacher from the Czech Republic and said he had a licence for the gun at home.
He said his life was “a bit chaotic” at the time, because he had been going through a divorce, and he had forgotten that the gun was there.
But Canterbury Crown Court heard that a full search of the white Peugeot Export van last August revealed other weapons including a bow an arrows, five knives - one 12 inches long, a machete, 50 9mm cartridges, another 50 .22 cartridges, a knuckle duster and a second loaded gun, a Walther PPQ pistol, wrapped in a paper bag.
Teacher Jaromir Hrbek, who tours Europe with an orchestra, admitted 10 charges, including possessing two deadly weapons.
His barrister John Paul Mcnamara, said the father-of-three had been visiting one of his daughters in Edinburgh and was returning to his home country when he was stopped by chance in Dover.
Prosecutor Ben Irwin said Hrbek and a woman arrived at the docks at 9pm and were pulled over by security officers carrying out random checks.
He said: “They discovered a magazine of ammunition in the driver’s side door. They immediately contacted police.
“During a short question and answer session Hrbek said he had forgotten the ammunition was in the vehicle and said he had no guns in the vehicle after producing a Czech firearms licence.”
“Guns kill. They maim, terrorise and intimidate. That is why criminals are so desperate to get hold of them and that’s why their importation and possession is absolutely prohibited in the UK" - Judge Simon James
But Mr Irwin said a search unearthed a loaded Walther PPK in a pocket behind the seat and an arsenal of weapons.
Judge Simon James jailed the teacher for five years telling him: “Guns kill. They maim, terrorise and intimidate. That is why criminals are so desperate to get hold of them and that’s why their importation and possession is absolutely prohibited in the UK.
“Whatever your personal intentions, your actions gave rise to a very real potential that the weapons could fall into the hands of criminals.”
Richard Bowen, the National Crime Agency’s senior investigating officer, said: “Hrbek’s van was a veritable arsenal.
“This investigation has taken all those weapons out of circulation and I applaud the officers who stopped the vehicle and questioned Hrbek.”