A north Suffolk parish council chairman says things are “back to normal” after their village was put under an intense media spotlight following the discovery a haul of weapons earlier this year.
Former Wyverstone Parish Council chairman James Arnold, 49, was arrested in April and a subsequent search of his home and surrounding land through the following month uncovered a large haul of firearms and ammunition.
Mr Arnold, of Potash Lane, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, was due to appear in court on July 25, facing four charges of being in possession of a prohibited weapon. It is believed the amount of weapons found was a “three figure” sum. But following his death on July 14 in Belmarsh Prison, London, the case was discontinued.
Current parish council chairman Andy Mellen said the village is looking ahead.
“I think things are pretty much back to normal,” he said. “I think the fact that James has passed away gives a certain amount of closure to the issues that came out and we are looking to the future now.”
Mr Mellen said Mr Arnold’s passing was “a very sad day”, but added his death was expected as he had been suffering with terminal cancer.
Mr Arnold had founded and chaired the play area committee, and had also been chairman for the village hall committee.
“I had known him for the last seven years since I moved to the village,” said Mr Mellen.
“He was someone very much involved in the community at the heart of things. He gave an enormous amount of time to community activities and service to the village.
“I would like to say Wyverstone is a quiet village and a lovely place to live. It is a very safe place and we never had any fears for the safety of residents at any part of this incident.”
Mr Mellen has also called on Suffolk Police to release information on the weapons found at Mr Arnold’s property.
“Any comment on that is speculation because we don’t know the full story. Unfortunately Suffolk Police have added to those rumours because they have not given the full picture. We don’t know how many were replicas that couldn’t have been fired.”
A spokesperson for Suffolk Police said the investigation was still ongoing and that no details would be released at this stage.