Security alert at Westminster magistrates court after gun seized by guards

·2-min read
(Rick Findler/PA) (PA Archive)
(Rick Findler/PA) (PA Archive)

An imitation gun was seized at one of Britain’s busiest magistrates courts after an alleged attempt to bring it through security.

Guards at Westminster magistrates court spotted the object – believed to be an airsoft gun – during a security check on Friday.

A 61-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a firearm and could now face a criminal charge.

A heavy police presence could be seen at the central London courthouse after the incident, which happened on the same day a Buckingham Palace intruder, 44-year-old Cameron Kalani, admitted scaling the fence of the Queen’s residence while carrying a knife.

Also in court on Friday was Marcin Sawka, 29, who was jailed for 20 weeks for spitting in the face of Judge Heather Baucher as he walked along The Strand.

Judge Baucher, who sits at Central London county court, said she feared she may have contracted Covid-19 as a result of the attack, which was carried out at random.

The man arrested over the gun incident is not a defendant, but is believed to have been visiting the court to observe a hearing.

Westminster magistrates court, which is presided over by Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring, hears some of the country’s most high profile cases including offences involving MPs.

The courthouse was opened a decade ago, and was designed to provide a secure venue for some of the most high-security prisoners – including terrorists and mass murderers - to appear in the dock.

Scotland Yard confirmed the gun incident, saying in a statement: “Police were called at 15:07hrs on Friday, 19 November after an imitation firearm was found during a security check at Westminster magistrates Court.

“Officers attended and recovered the firearm, which was believed to have been an airsoft gun.

“A 61-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a firearm. He was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries until a date in mid-December. Enquiries are ongoing.”

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