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Defendant says he thought bag containing Glock pistol had woman’s blouse in it

By PA News
A view of the National Crime Agency (NCA) sign in Westminster, London.

A Bulgarian man who supplied a Glock pistol to a compatriot has told a court that his dog found the lethal weapon in a local park.

Kristian Hristev, 30, was arrested in December after a two-hour standoff with armed police at his home in Rochester, Kent.

Officers swooped in after Hristev was seen handing a rucksack over to fellow Bulgarian Kristiyan Romonov, a court heard on Friday.

Inside the rucksack were a “particularly dangerous” Glock model 42 pistol and 10 rounds of ammunition.

After Romonov, 24, was stopped in a car later, he told officers that he had thought the bag contained a woman’s blouse which he had arranged to collect from Hristev’s address.

Both men appeared by videolink at Maidstone Crown Court for sentencing on Friday following the National Crime Agency investigation.

Prosecutor Vivian Walters told the court: “The gun and ammunition were recovered from the vehicle.

“Mr Hristev’s address was surrounded by armed officers and he and his housemate were arrested when they emerged just over two hours later.”

Officers trawled the surrounding rooftops and found packages containing cocaine and 33 more rounds of the same ammunition.

She added: “CCTV from the area shows that the window in the address was opened consistent with the package having been thrown out after Mr Hristev was aware of the police presence.”

In interview Romonov told police he believed the bag contained a ladies’ blouse.

The prosecutor said: “He was questioned about this further and said he had previously arranged to go to Hristev’s address to collect the blouse.”

After that he asked for a solicitor and answered no comment to further questions.

The gun was taken for analysis and found to be in working order.

The court heard that it was an American-manufactured Glock model 42 self-loading pistol.

Ms Walters said at just 5.94 inches long the weapon is smallest gun made by the company and as such is “particularly dangerous”.

She said: “Although it is lethal it can be concealed on the person or elsewhere.

“It is only the second time that such a weapon has been recovered by the police in the UK.”

The bullets – 43 found between the car and the rooftop – were found to be live and suitable for use in the weapon.

At a previous hearing Hristev, of Parrs Head Mews, Rochester, pleaded guilty to: transferring a prohibited firearm, transferring ammunition to another, possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate, possessing cocaine.

At the same previous hearing Romonov, of Windsor Road, Gillingham, pleaded guilty to: possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate.

Jonathan Mole, representing Hristev, said his client denies any involvement in organised crime.

Instead, he said the gun was discovered in a bag in some bushes in a park by Hristev’s dog .

This, Judge Adele Williams told him, “would not be an acceptable basis” and would require a separate hearing to examine.

The sentencing was therefore adjourned until later this month and both defendants were remanded in custody in the meantime.

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