Norfolk boxer caught with shotgun disguised as walking stick
- Credit: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY
Norfolk boxer Eli Frankham, who was found with a shotgun disguised as a walking stick, claimed it belonged to his granny and later said he wanted to use it to shoot vermin.
Frankham, 27, was found to have the disguised weapon and ammunition hidden in the boot of a vehicle when stopped on the A47 at Necton, near Swaffham, on May 17.
Lori Tucker, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said when officers discovered the weapon he told them it was his granny’s walking stick, then said it was an antique before then claiming it was planted in his vehicle.
He later told probation he planned to use it to kill vermin.
Mrs Tucker said the weapon was capable of being fired and said: “It is a prohibited weapon.”
Frankham, of Emneth, near Wisbech, admitted possessing a single barrel shotgun disguised as a walking stick and possession of ammunition, when prohibited.
The court heard that he faced a minimum mandatory term of five years.
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Jailing him for five years and four months, Judge Andrew Shaw told Frankham that he had at first feigned innocence and given a number of different reasons for having the weapon.
“It is very difficult to accept that anything you say is true when you tell so many lies.”
He said the weapon was capable as being used as a working shotgun and said: “It is almost impossible to say what your intent was.”
However he accepted Frankham had a number of good qualities and had been a model prisoner while on remand.
“You are a talented and able boxer.”
He said that he could have had an “exceptional career” and accepted he had difficulties but said it was up to him what he made of his future.
William Carter, for Frankham, said on release from his last sentence he had resumed his boxing career as a cruiserweight with some success but said: “The reality is at 27 he is getting towards the upper end of the age bracket.”
Earlier this year Frankham scored a unanimous points victory over Artsiom Charniakevich in Poland.
Mr Carter said that Frankham had used the sport to try to help others turn from crime and had been a model prisoner while on remand and planned to train as a listener.