BASC Fighting Fund helps member win costs against Kent Police

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A BASC member has won costs against Kent Police thanks to support from BASC’s Fighting Fund.

The Fighting Fund was utilised to help Chris Sharp win an appeal on 26 April against the revocation of his firearms and shotgun certificates by Kent Police. Mr Sharp’s appeal was upheld as the judge and magistrate panel were of the view that he was clearly the victim of an unprovoked assault, not the instigator, was not a threat to public safety, and was not of “intemperate habits”.

The court reconvened on 21 May for the final judgment. Within the written judgment it was concluded “we do not find any evidence which supports the findings of the Chief Constable”. Mr Sharp was also awarded costs which were not contested by the police in court.

The judgment marks a further success for the Fighting Fund, which in March 2024 helped a BASC member secure costs from Cheshire Constabulary, following a successful appeal against the revocation of his certificate.

BASC’s head of firearms Martin Parker said: “We were delighted to support Mr Sharp and help him clear his name. We’d like to thank Peter Glenser KC and solicitor Timothy Ryan for all their hard work in the pursuit of justice for Mr Sharp.

“The Superintendent stated several times during proceedings that Kent has a ‘zero-risk’ policy in relation to firearms licensing. The logical conclusion if you have a zero-risk policy is you wouldn’t issue any firearms certificates and suggests that if there is any complaint or any allegation they’ll just revoke. This would be a charter for mischief.

“Kent Police currently has more revocations than all the other forces in the South East combined. Further appeals are scheduled, and BASC will continue to fight vigorously in its members’ interest where it considers there has been an injustice.”

Speaking after his successful appeal, Mr Sharp said: “After being made to feel like a criminal and with many false accusations made against my character, it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders that the police, the firearms officers, and then ultimately the court, all agreed unanimously that my version of events was the truth.

“The police admitted as much in court which begs the question as to why it took 16 months and a court hearing to settle it.

“BASC was brilliant. I’m so grateful for its financial support, but more importantly the support it gave me beyond that was invaluable. Just the reassurance that I was in the right gave me the strength to continue to fight this injustice.

“I’m also grateful to all my friends and character references who supported me. Shooting is my passion, and it feels good to be totally vindicated and be able to continue to enjoy it with my friends and hold my head up high again.”

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