Wyverstone parish chairman James Arnold dies while awaiting court hearing

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The prosecution of a Suffolk parish council chairman for alleged firearms offences has been discontinued following his death.

James Arnold, of Potash Lane, Wyverstone, had been due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday for a plea and case management hearing.

The 49-year-old was suffering from terminal cancer and was being held at HMP Belmarsh in south London.

On Tuesday, the court was told that following the death of Mr Arnold, who was remanded in custody on July 14, the case against him was being discontinued.

Mr Arnold, who chaired Wyverstone Parish Council, 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.

He was charged with four offences of being in possession of a prohibited weapon.

The charges were alleged to relate to the possession of an Uzi machine gun, an AK47 assault rifle, a bolt action shotgun and a self-loading rifle. Reports indicate that the total of number of weapons allegedly possessed by Mr Arnold at the time of his arrest was a “three-figure sum.”