Terminally ill Middlesbrough Convoy Aid boss avoids jail over firearms offences

The boss of an aid organisation who admitted a string of firearms and drugs offences has been handed a suspended sentence because he is terminally ill.

James Jones, 74, ran Convoy Aid Romania on Teesside for 30 years and staged mercy missions to Eastern Europe.

But a court heard that in 2019 customs officers found a shotgun, pistol, ammunition and cannabis in a search of a storage unit and Jones’ home and car.

Jones claimed the weapons were handed in with clothes as part of a donation.

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Judge Howard Crowson said the offences would normally bring a “substantial” prison term, but instead imposed a two-year sentence, suspended for 12 months, as Jones is dying.

Mr Jones, also known as Rod, had admitted two counts of possessing a firearm when prohibited, as well as charges of possessing a prohibited firearm and a rifle.

He also pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to possessing more than £26,000 in criminal property and fraudulently evading duty worth over £19,000.

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