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Gravesend antiques dealer Ray Mills found dead in Cobham Wood following court appearance

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An antiques dealer and collector of Nazi memorabilia due to answer charges of illegal gun possession has been found dead.

Registered firearms dealer Ray Mills, of Pinnocks Avenue, Gravesend, died in Cobham less than two weeks after he appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court charged with owning the banned weapons. He was 68.

His body was discovered with gunshot wounds to the head in woodland off Cobhambury Road. Police say they are treating the death as non-suspicious.

Cobham Wood, where the body was found
Cobham Wood, where the body was found

His wife, Ann, declined to comment.

An inquest is scheduled to take place at Gravesend Old Town Hall on Monday, May 11.

Mr Mills was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service the day after being arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police in January.

He was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm contrary to the Firearms Act 1968 and a separate charge of selling a primer contrary to the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

He was due to attend Woolwich Crown Court to answer charges but the case was discontinued on the day he was due to appear.

In an interview with The Telegraph in October, Mr Mills was interviewed at a fair for military collectors where he revealed he stored Nazi memorabilia.

Mr Mills said Nazi items simply represented a good investment. Stock pictures
Mr Mills said Nazi items simply represented a good investment. Stock pictures

His private collection is believed to have included about 100 rifles and a dagger used by soldiers belonging to Nazi paramilitary group the Sturmabteilung or SA.

It is understood he used agents in both North and South America to acquire the guns. In the piece, he admitted to being suspected of being either a “loony” or “Neo-Nazi” but said the items simply represented a good investment.

In October 2013, his name was heard in a case at Maidstone Crown Court when drug addict Thomas Keatley was jailed for eight years after armed police discovered an illegally manufactured gun in his car.

Keatley was found with a Forehand & Wadsworth double action revolver wrapped in a carrier bag in his glove compartment and told the court he bought the weapon from Mills for £475.

He was barred from having a firearms licence because of previous criminal convictions.

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