‘Gun nut’ who manufactured his own firearms in Havering home is jailed

Raymond Nugent (Met Police )
Raymond Nugent (Met Police )

A self-described “gun nut” who manufactured his own powerful firearms from his home in Havering has been jailed.

Raymond Frederick Nugent, 73, cut out cardboard templates before pressing metal to create the weapons, and even designed his own firing mechanisms.

But he was caught after a tip-off from the National Crime Agency (NCA) led detectives to discover the cache, which he had been building over many years.

Nugent, of Coltishall Road, Hornchurch, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.

Images of his firearms (Met Police)
Images of his firearms (Met Police)

He had been found guilty at an earlier hearing of 45 firearms offences.

The NCA alerted the Met after intelligence revealed that Nugent had imported a blank firing weapon from the Czech Republic.

In November 2018 a warrant was executed under the Firearms Act at his home and officers discovered a number of safes. Inside they found batches of firearms and ammunition that had been carefully wrapped and stored.

Nugent was arrested and taken for interview at an east London police station as police continued to search the address.

The workshop used to make the weapons (Met Police)
The workshop used to make the weapons (Met Police)

Even from initial inspection it was apparent to specialist officers at the scene that he was in possession of viable firearms. They were seized and taken for examination.

Incredibly, several of these were items Nugent had made from scratch himself at his workshop, using drills and vices to create weapons fully capable of firing.

An expert pointed out during the trial that one weapon Nugent had produced was 25 per cent more powerful than a factory-produced firearm of similar calibre and style.

Also among the cache were a number of deactivated weapons that had been re-activated, while others – including a stun gun, an Italian Bruni (BBM) Model ME .38calibre revolver and a Turkish Atak 914- self-loading 9mm pistol – had been converted to fire. He had also converted blank ammunition that could be fired.

Nugent described himself as “a gun nut” during a police interview, but said that he had had no intention of firing or selling the weapons.

He was bailed and then later released under investigation while further enquiries were conducted.

He was charged by postal requisition in October 2019.

Detective Victoria Sullivan said: “Though no evidence was found of any associated criminality linked to Nugent’s activities, the arsenal he had in his possession was lethal and, in the wrong hands, quite capable of causing incredibly serious harm.

“It’s thanks to quick and decisive partnership working with our colleagues in the National Crime Agency, who alerted us to Nugent, that we’ve been able to bring him to justice here.

"These efforts were recognised by the judge who commended our investigating officer.”