Homeless paranoid schizophrenic caught with live-firing 9mm pistol next to Pizza Hut in Portsmouth

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A HOMELESS paranoid schizophrenic was caught with a live-firing 9mm pistol and ammunition tucked in his trousers in a sleeping bag next to a pizza takeaway.

Family members called police about Paul Edwards, 37, after discovering an arsenal of legal weapons including a grenade at their Cosham home.

Homeless Paul Edwards, 37, was found with two guns near Pizza Hut in Cosham. Picture: Hampshire police

Homeless Paul Edwards, 37, was found with two guns near Pizza Hut in Cosham. Picture: Hampshire police

When officers arrived on December 5 last year they found a BBM Brunei 38P pistol capable of firing blank rounds.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard police then found Edwards in a sleeping bag behind Pizza Hut, in High Street, Cosham, with a ECOL 9mm pistol adapted to take live rounds. He had nine 9mm rounds.

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Jailing him for five years, judge David Melville QC said: ‘In a public place you had with you a gun which could kill or seriously injure and the means to do so.

Homeless Paul Edwards, 37, was found with two guns near Pizza Hut in Cosham. Picture: Hampshire police

Homeless Paul Edwards, 37, was found with two guns near Pizza Hut in Cosham. Picture: Hampshire police

‘You were suffering from mental ill health - that’s a very worrying combination.’

Sitting in a secure dock flanked by officers Edwards muttered throughout proceedings.

Detailing the case, judge Melville added: ‘The prosecution case is that after concerns expressed by your mother and brother the police came to find and they found outside the house a box or hut, (the blank firing pistol).

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‘They also then looked for you and behind the Pizza Hut in a sleeping bag they found you asleep and when eventually they searched you they found on you the weapon that was able to fire a live rounds, and they found five live rounds in one cartridge and four other cartridges - nine of them altogether. These weren’t blank but real.

‘You were sleeping in a public place with down your trousers a weapon capable of killing and you had nine rounds and that of course is very serious.’

Edwards admitted two charges of a possession firearm, ammunition and an offensive weapon relating to a knuckleduster he previously had.

Judge Melville ordered the weapons and ammunition must be forfeited and destroyed.