Damn, if this guy had lived in my town, he could have gotten a digital camera for his trouble, not a jail term...
I'm a resident of Halifax (the one in Canada, mind you). When I first heard about this program, I figured it would be for the legal guns only...nope, as the article says, they'd even take the illegal ones.
Found another article showing that not all the guns they got from the program are being destroyed. Pretty interesting read:
One of my uncles fought in the Battle of Dieppe, where one of the revolvers turned in for the "Pixels for Pistols" program was first obtained.
I still say it adds up to a raw deal for the fella in Surrey.
First, the judge in the case has used some sort of discretion I don't believe a U.S. judge would have to give Clarke less than the "minimum" five year sentence--he actually got one year of suspended sentence, so he's not going to jail.
Second, lots of weird details in this case. Some of Cassingham's readers (at the link above) pointed out that Clarke was arrested and charged with beating up a tax inspector last year, but he beat that charge. There was speculation that this latest charge was at least partially motivated by police anger over that charge and the outcome.
There's also Clarke's weird explanation of why he waited four days to turn the gun in . . . he says he wanted to turn it over only to the Superintendent, who wasn't available for four days. He didn't want to turn it over to detectives because, he says, he's in a sexual relationship with a female detective on the force and one of the male detectives is jealous and looking for an excuse to get him. Why he couldn't call the detective he's screwing and ask her what to do, he doesn't say.
He also says he didn't call the emergency number because he didn't want "trigger happy cops on his doorstep." Clearly there's some tension between him and his local police force no matter the reason, but I actually agree with that one. Why call the equivalent of 911 if there's not an emergency? No good comes of that. Doesn't explain why you wouldn't call the cops directly and let someone other than the Superintendent come.
If you were really worried about it, you could call the local TV fluffs and tell them you're calling the police to report that you just found a gun in your garden. In the U.S., they'd come running to be there before the cops.
Personally, I couldn't help but notice that the guy who turned in a pistol he found in a gutter not far from the Prime Minister's home apparently was not arrested and prosecuted in the hopes that he would be given a 5-year sentence.